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Phuket Sandbox on two-week ‘watch’

PHUKET: The Phuket Sandbox scheme will continue for at least two more weeks while officials monitor the fallout from the rise in COVID-19 infections across the island, Dr Khajonsak Kaewjarat, Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), has confirmed.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 29 July 2021, 06:12PM

Khajonsak Kaewjarat, Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), speaks to the press after the meeting at the Phuket EOC Command Centre today (July 29). Screenshot: PR Phuket

Khajonsak Kaewjarat, Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), speaks to the press after the meeting at the Phuket EOC Command Centre today (July 29). Screenshot: PR Phuket

“From the evaluation under three criteria, Phuket Sandbox can continue, but we will spend the next two weeks monitoring to see whether Phuket is still able to control the number of new infections,” Dr Khajonsak explained after a meeting with Phuket officials today (July 29). 

“Regarding contact tracing, right now local people and tourists have given good cooperation to medical staff so they can identify which people were  infected from which cases, as well as clusters in various areas. Phuket has done very good work on finding cases,” he said. 

“For disease control, if any people confirmed an infected has to stay home and wait for a local quarantine room, even for one day, that means the medical system in Phuket cannot step forward in terms of disease control,” Dr Khajonsak said. 

“We will give Phuket about two weeks to see whether local quarantine venues in Phuket can handle the number of new people infected by not forcing any new cases to stay home and wait for staff for a day,” he said.

“For medical treatment, right now Phuket has many beds available for new infected cases, as 36% of them have received treatment in hospitals. Doctors and medical staff in Phuket are still able to handle the [current] number of cases,” he continued. 

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“There are no patients who need to use a breathing tube in Phuket, and that is pretty amazing. This is an indicator that Phuket Sandbox can keep continuing,” Dr Khajonsak said. 

“Additionally, more than 70% of people have received vaccination injections, so there is a low number of cases with severe symptoms,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong today said that the Phuket Provincial Government has ordered all local administrative organisations (municipalities and OrBorTor) to find venues in each tambon (subdistrict) that are suitable for local quarantine in order to increase the the number of local quarantine rooms available to 1,500. 

Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon on Tuesday confirmed that Phuket currently has 450 rooms as local quarantine venues.

Vice Governor Pichet today also said that officials are now discussing whether the current entry requirements for domestic travellers to enter Phuket are sufficient to protect the province from more infections, and discussing whether or to not to issue an order to stop migrant worker movement into and out of Phuket.

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Kurt | 31 July 2021 - 09:22:21

"Amazing that on Phuket no Covid patients need breathing tube" ? That has simply to do with the healthy lung capacity of Phuketians due to relative good air quality on Phuket. Compare that with lung condition of Bangkok residents or that of people in ChiangMai province. They already in 'injury time' before getting the Covid Delta virus.

Kurt | 31 July 2021 - 09:05:20

@Robby, May we say that even 2 jabs of chinese vaccines are to weak/ineffective, seen the Phuket warming up for 3 jab? And that 'herd immunity' of 70% is still 'flights of fancy'. It is still a supposition. Scientifically to early to be proven. So, Thailand/Phuket can not lean on 70%. Not call it fake, but is not true yet.

robby | 30 July 2021 - 14:16:36

So now everyone's forgotten that the numbers for Phuket were bumped up to 70% overnight by suddenly counting people who'd only had one jab. And as Sinovac is virtually ineffective with one jab - what did the administrators expect would happen? 

charles | 29 July 2021 - 21:22:12

so tying this story to the one about migrants camps would point in the direction that migrant workers are the primary cause of the outbreaks buy bet you never hear a  statement that its not from tourists entering 


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