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Phuket’s main fishing port to shut down to stem COVID outbreak

Phuket’s main fishing port to shut down to stem COVID outbreak

PHUKET: The Phuket Fishing Port on Koh Siray, east of Phuket Town, will shut down for 14 days to have all operators and fishing crews operating out of the port tested for COVID-19 following a spate of infections on board fishing boats using the port.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 19 August 2021, 11:38AM

Somyot Wongbunyakul, President of the Phuket Fishermen’s Association, made the request yesterday (Aug 18) for the port to close and mass testing to be conducted.

The port will close tomorrow (Aug 20).

Mr Somyot said that most of the fishermen working out of the port are healthy and more than 90% of the fishermen at the port have completed two vaccination injections.

“However, last week there was [southwest] monsoon weather and the boats were unable to go fishing. About 40 boats stopped fishing temporarily for about seven to eight days because of the weather,” Mr Somyot said.

“This caused the fishermen to disembark from the boats and come ashore, and come in contact with those infected with COVID-19 in the community. They then returned to the boats, leading to infections on the boats,” he explained.

“In the past, there had never been any infections on the boats,” Mr Somyot said.

Phuket Property

The outbreak of infections on board fishing vessels led to discussions with commercial fishing boat operators, who suggested that the Phuket Fishing Port close for 14 days so that all people working at the port and those working on the fishing boats could be tested, Mr Somyot continued.

“Any people found infected could then receive treatment and any high risk contacts can observe quarantine on board the boats,” he said.

Mr Somyot noted that eliminating COVID from the commercial fishing fleet will take time.

“Even if the infections disappear, it will take more time to control fully, but all operators are willing to cooperate, both at the Phuket Fishing Port and at the smaller fishing piers,” he said.

“Because more than 90% of the fleet are trawlers, most of the work requires them to be at sea for at least 10 days at a time, and from discussions with operators measures have been put in place so that when the boat enters the harbour, all crews are strictly prohibited from leaving the harbour. This had previously been announced,” he said.

“Along with efforts by officials at the port, an intercepting checkpoint has been set up to prevent any crewmen from leaving the port,” he said.

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maverick | 20 August 2021 - 14:37:35

Vaccines do not prevent infection only serious illness and death - what cave is every one hiding in, this has been know for months mass testing will reveal lots of infected people but not many sick people 

Kurt | 20 August 2021 - 09:54:06

Vaccinated healthy fishermen went ashore and got infected ashore. It proofs that Sinovac not protects, and Covid-19 still easily spreads. Interesting to know for fully vaccinated sandbox tourists.

Kurt | 20 August 2021 - 09:47:03

Are all crew of the Phuket fishing fleet now vaccinated with effective vaccines, like AZ, Pfeizer, Moderna? Or given the sugarwater Sinovac what not protect against DELTA? Using Sinovac means that we soon not can eat fish anymore. No healthy fishermen on the fleet. | 19 August 2021 - 20:39:48

I asked the question about how Phuket could be so infected with so many precautions.  Here is why.  Thailand only jabs Thais with the ineffective Sinovac vaccine. As a result, regular Thais aren't protected against the COVID Delta variant (only wealthy and officials) and the disease keeps spreading. 

Foot | 19 August 2021 - 16:51:42

Just out of curiosity, how could anyone in Phuket come in contact with those infected with COVID-19 in the community when Phuket has so many safeguards against COVID spreading.  Testing. Lock downs. Closures. Wide spread vaccinations. So many. But, none actually seem to work very well and Thailand refuses to do what other more successful countries have done.

maverick | 19 August 2021 - 13:45:53

Must be the Sandbox again, time to shut it down.

agogohome | 19 August 2021 - 13:06:40

Many other countries have now learnt to live with Covid, and don't even report cases, now. Thailand could keep this nonsense up for decades!


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