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Phuket people asked to prepare for ‘Tambon Lockdown’

Phuket people asked to prepare for ‘Tambon Lockdown’

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavitpatana has issued an order for all subdistricts on the island to come under “lockdown”, with no non-essential travel beyond subdistrict borders permitted, starting next Monday (Apr 13), Songkran Day.

COVID-19Coronavirushealth
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 9 April 2020, 10:12PM


The lockdown will be in effect 24 hours a day, from 00.01am on April 13 to 11:59pm on April 26, a total of 14 days “or until the situation is resolved”, said the order.

Six Phuket subdistricts (“tambon” in Thai) – Patong, Karon, Chalong, Rawai, Kathu and Srisoonthorn – are already under lockdown orders, brought into effect over the past week.

The order to shut down the remaining 11 tambon on the island came at the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall this afternoon (Apr 9), and the order was posted in Thai on the official Facebook page of the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department this evening. (See here.)

Governor Phakaphong urged all people on the island to remain in their places of residence as much as possible during the lockdown in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Also during the fortnight, teams of officers and volunteers will conduct door-to-door checks of households to check the temperatures of residents in the hope of identifying infected people early and hence prevent the virus from spreading further.

“Officers will check the temperature of all people in each area. If any person is suspected of being infected, they will be sent to a hospital specified by the province,” Governor Phakaphong said in the order.

“Officers must clean every public area, and every store by using sterilizing sanitiser,” he added.

“If there are employees who need to work in a hotel. The hotel must find a room for them to stay and must inform the authorities of the number and the details of the people being accommodated.

“And local government officials must publicize this order to people in their areas,” he added.

Only people involved in emergency and essential services will be permitted past the checkpoints to be set up, namely those in the medical, telecommunications and postal services as well as drivers delivering consumer goods and produce and government officers performing their duties.

Any persons needing “absolutely necessary” travel beyond the tambon borders must first obtain permission from their District Chief, the order notes.

The order urged people to prepare for the lockdown, but warned against hoarding. The order did not define the punishment for hoarding, only that punishment for hoarding will be at the “officers’ discretion”.

SERIOUS ENFORCEMENT

“The implementation of this order requires the cooperation of all people in Phuket to stop the spread of COVID-19 as soon as possible, which if left for a long time will cause serious damage to someone or affect the public interest. Therefore [I] cannot grant the right to dispute [the order] under Section 30 of the Administrative Procedure Act 1996,” Governor Phakaphong said.

Governor Phakaphong warned that breaking the order was punishable under Section 52 of the Communicable Disease Act 2015, which can incur a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to B100,000, or both.

Breach of the order may also be punished under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree, which may incur a penalty of up to two years in prison or a fine of up to B40,000, or both, the order noted.

CALL FOR SUPPORT

“To pass through this crisis quickly, we have to ask for cooperation from people to stay home all the time ‘like a 24-hour curfew’ for 14 days after this Monday (Apr 13),” Phuket Provincial Administrative Chief (Palad) Wikrom Jaktee explained after the meeting this afternoon.

“We want everyone to be home and go out as least as you can. We need 14 days, as it is how long it takes for people infected with the coronavirus to show symptoms,” he said.

“There will be exceptions for those who really need to go out [of the tambon],” he assured.

“Please stay home, health volunteers, civil defense volunteers, members of the public and village headmen will knock on your doors to check your body temperatures.

“Please prepare essential goods for living before Apr 13. Those who can not prepare by themselves, please inform your local administrative organizations [municipality and OrBorTor] who will arrange a bag of essential goods for you.” Mr Wikrom said.

“If all people in Phuket together follow the suggestion, we will all eventually see the light at the end of tunnel. If it really works, by April 30, we will have found all the infected people in Phuket and have rushed to help them recover in order to bring our lives back to normal,” he added.

Additional reporting by Khunanya Wanchanwe and Kiattikul Chumanee

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Iced Leo | 11 April 2020 - 11:43:22

Can we go out for exercise ?

Christy Sweet | 10 April 2020 - 19:42:21

So will we be able to go out for groceries, or not? Is it a request or a public order?   Lot's of inconsistencies and confusing info. Perhaps it's the translation ? 

GerryT81 | 10 April 2020 - 14:34:52

Yes Christy,in your case I agree with a 10 week lockdown at home.Internet should be cut too.

Concernd | 10 April 2020 - 12:08:43

Please kindly show a Map of the Exact Tambon Borders in English. Thank You.

Kurt | 10 April 2020 - 11:38:40

In Tambon Chalong are building constructions going on without 'social distance' between the workers. Also their 'cattle transport' on back of trucks is without social distance. Is this possible because of bribes/kick backs? I just ask.

CaptainJack69 | 10 April 2020 - 11:33:05

Yeah, we'll see wont we. The responsible and respectful among us have been isolating for 2 weeks already, yet when we do venture out we find that huge numbers of people aren't, even with the existing restrictions. Nothing has changed. Thai people still need to be forced to comply. This is just 2 weeks too late.

ThorFinger | 10 April 2020 - 11:28:04

Galong, that's what I want to know.  Terribly confusing article. Can someone from Phuket news please clarify?

Galong | 10 April 2020 - 10:11:55

So, is solo (while wearing a mask) running or cycling within your tambon prohibited during this period too?

Andy | 10 April 2020 - 08:50:05

A map showing the Tambon areas would help

ThorFinger | 10 April 2020 - 08:31:17

I must add that we have been doing this for 2 weeks now already. We have also been practising social distancing by being at least 1.5 metres apart when going for food. I refuse to go to some supermarkets where people are standing within centimetres of each other. Going to Big C in Jungceylon is perfect as it is so large and we can practise social distancing easily. 

Christy Sweet | 10 April 2020 - 08:06:33

And the 30% who never show symptoms? Lockdown needs to be for 10  weeks, not 2 and it should have started 4 weeks ago 

ThorFinger | 10 April 2020 - 07:53:08

Well this is confusing. 
So to be clear, there is a lockdown between Tambons but we can still go out to get food etc.? The governor would just 'prefer us to stay inside? Or is there a 24 hour curfew on the streets? It doesn't say this exactly. 

 

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