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Phuket Sandbox infections were ‘expected’

Phuket Sandbox infections were ‘expected’

PHUKET: Phuket Sandbox tourists testing positive for COVID-19 was expected and the infections will not stop after opening 12 days so far, Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon has said.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 13 July 2021, 10:40AM

Sandbox tourists being infected with COVID-19 will not stop the Phuket Sandbox scheme, said PPHO Chief Kusak Kukiattikoon. Photo: PR Phuket

Sandbox tourists being infected with COVID-19 will not stop the Phuket Sandbox scheme, said PPHO Chief Kusak Kukiattikoon. Photo: PR Phuket

“The Sandbox tourists who have tested positive include one from UAE, three from Myanmar, one from South Africa, and one from Switzerland. They have been fully vaccinated with various brands, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm and others,” Dr Kusak said at a press conference held at the EOC Command Center yesterday (July 12).

“For now, none of the high-risk contacts [associated with the Sandbox infected] have tested positive,” he said.

“The infected cases among Phuket Sandbox tourists were expected under the plan made before opening the island, and the infections will not be able to stop the Phuket Sandbox scheme for sure,” he added.

“I think we have the strictest measures for screening tourists. We are opening only for tourists from selected countries. The tourists must be swab tested before coming and on arrival, and undergo two more tests during the 14-day stay. I think this is the strictest. The only way to be stricter is to require them to stay in their hotels,” Dr Kusak said.

“Our medical and public health staff can work in a timely manner. We have disease investigation staff in all areas, so they can work very quickly,” he said.

“Finding infected cases [among Sandbox tourists] demonstrates that vaccinations cannot 100% protect you from the virus, so every person needs to strictly follow the DMHTTA measures. Do not underestimate the virus,” he said.

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“Meanwhile, you can see that our disease control measures work effectively, and they will boost confidence among tourists and local people,” Dr Kusak assured.

“For today [July 12], we found only one new infected case on the island, bringing the total number of infected cases to 788.

“We have six cases infected from other provinces, two cases infected from foreign countries, and six cases who are Phuket Sandbox tourists,” he said.

“So far, 721 cases have been discharged from the hospital, 72 cases are still receiving treatment, and nine cases have died from the infection,” he added.

While touting that Phuket recorded only one local infection yesterday, Dr Kusak made no mention of the COVID death that was marked in the same report.

The death marked yesterday was the ninth fatality in Phuket attributed to COVID-19 since Apr 3 and the second death reported within the past two days.

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JohnC | 15 July 2021 - 08:19:04

Three sandbox tourists from Myanmar??? Am I missing something here? What happened to their usual method of entry via corrupt officials along the border turniing a bliind eye for the right incentive.

MikeGer | 14 July 2021 - 15:32:09

1 shot astrazeneca only give a 15% protection against delta mutation. Kids from tourists come unvaccinated. Those are very high risks to bring covid to Phuket. 

Dave_C | 14 July 2021 - 10:33:12

Also think that the test procedure must be within 4 days prior to departure and origin needs to be authenticated for ALL visitors and entry restrictions be STRICTLY enforced.

Dave_C | 14 July 2021 - 10:13:44

I think everything should be open and that international tourists are treated exactly the same as Thai tourists. Don't harass them after they clear customs just like after they clear the bridge. Let them stay and travel wherever they like.
The locals need a break.

ematt | 14 July 2021 - 09:08:08

Hi Dave, thanks. I think that it is always unfortunate when one gets sick while traveling - for any reason - and has their vacation ruined. But it happens. I also think that the infection rate among Sandox tourists, at least at the moment, is extremely low (0.15% by the numbers) and that it is probably unrealistic to expect 0%. Otherwise, nothing in the world will ever reopen. What do you think?

Kurt | 14 July 2021 - 08:41:56

@Diamond, since 1 July, starting day Phuket Sandbox, there is a mistreating advantage taking of full vaccinated arriving tourist by sending them to Q-hotels for 2 weeks, incl. 3 tests. It is just a with powerplay money making scamming business. Thai Officials seem not to understand that they undermine penny wise, pound foolish, the image of Phuket, it goes more down the hill.

damond | 14 July 2021 - 02:47:11

As a Thai American I’m appalled by the knee jerk reaction and lack of communication these tourists are receiving. I would rather see foreign governments put a travel ban on Thailand, than see tourists being mistreated when they trusted this sandbox program in good faith. 

damond | 14 July 2021 - 02:32:44

I have to question the accuracy of the test? All these tourists are fully vaxxed. They’ve never been infected. They get fully vaccinated. Pass all requirements including negative test prior to arriving. Then all the sudden they’re infected when they land?!

Dave_C | 13 July 2021 - 21:28:14

What do you think??

ematt | 13 July 2021 - 17:54:32

Do you think this is the first person who ever got sick on holiday? 

Sandbar | 13 July 2021 - 17:13:59

 Desperate for foreigners cash, but nieve  that this virus is still uncontrollable. Bussiness in Phuket should have been supported and opened first. Their now dealing with a cobra in the sand box!!

cyberspider | 13 July 2021 - 15:50:34

CaptainJack69: 11yo? That will be unforgettable holidays for the whole family. :D  
 They are certainly having lots of fun, enjoying being locked up in one inferior hotel room for 2  weeks before heading back home and telling everybody about their experience of paradise on Earth.

CaptainJack69 | 13 July 2021 - 13:05:51

Question: The "infected" swiss was reported as 11 years old. Are you sure they were vaccinated? Most countries aren't jabbing minors.

Xi_Virus | 13 July 2021 - 12:14:01

Dr KuXak is a national "hEr-0". A man who works hard to keep the REPORTED numbers down. He invented his own "Reporting number of cases*" Formula and earned a patent for that earlier this year. 
XXXX divided by 1000 => Report it

*Disclaimer: case is or was a living thing !!!


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