Vice Governor Vikrom, declaring himself to be acting as a spokesperson for the Phuket Provincial Government said, “Phuket lockdown is not true. Many rumors have spread on various social media platforms saying the Phuket Government has announced the closure of the province. I confirm this is not true.”
Mr Vikrom explained, “We started taking action three weeks ago, before the outbreak in Samut Sakhon, after we were warned that people from Myanmar were trying to sneak back into the country, and possibly to Phuket.
“We checked 163 employers in Phuket who have migrant workers. We asked for their cooperation to inform officials of any new workers arriving at their camps so health officials could screen them,” he said.
“Then the news broke on Dec 20 that there were more than 500 people in Samut Sakhon who had tested positive for the virus,” he noted.
“Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has already ordered officials to ramp up COVID-19 protection measures at all three main forms of entry to the island [all ports, roads and the airport].
“Phuket International Airport has been ordered to increase the intensity of screening arrivals to Phuket. Everyone at the airport must wear a mask and all arrivals must complete the travel declaration form via the AoT Airports application and register on the Thai Chana platform.
“Any passengers inbound to Phuket found to have a high body temperature will be taken aside by health officials to be considered for further checking,” V/Gov Vikrom said.
“Two days ago, the intensity of the checks at the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai were increased, and screening at all piers have been increased.
“For safety we have already notified every District Office to check workers’ camps in their areas,” he added.
“However, how effective all these measures will be depends on the cooperation from the public. If you encounter migrant workers who have recently arrived or you have never seen their face before, or even if you see people who seem to have a fever and are not wearing a mask, let us know so we can go out to investigate and solve problems as quickly as possible,” V/Gov Vikrom urged.
“Phuket is the best province in dealing with this problem. We have already been through the experience of having the second-highest number of infections in the country, after Bangkok, so we have done all these steps before. Now we just have to do them again to fix with the current situation,” he said.
“Therefore we ask for cooperation from all people in Phuket. We have not shut down the province and we do not mind our brothers and sisters who want to come to Phuket.
“It doesn’t matter which province they come from, I just ask for cooperation to comply with the measures of public health for the safety of everyone,” V/Gov Vikom said.
“Please wear masks at all times and follow the health measures. Also try to avoid crowded areas. If it is necessary, spend the shortest time possible among any crowds and wash your hands often,” he advised.