Mr Kiatipoom Wongrachit joined Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and a management team from the Ministry of Public Health Office to receive an update from private sector representatives on the current COVID-19 situation across the island including problems relating to the Phuket Sandbox and Test & Go projects.
Kiatipoom confirmed that the number of infected cases in Phuket has increased which is consistent with national trends and in line with the Department of Disease Control’s forecasts.
“The number of new COVID-19 cases in Phuket is around 150 per day, with the majority of cases resulting from people being in close contact with infected cases, participating in group activities and interacting within the tourism sector,” he said.
He added that 98% of those infected were asymptomatic and the rest had mild symptoms; no deaths had occurred for more than 2 weeks, Kiatipoom confirmed.
As such, he recommended that patients classified as green status enter into home or community isolation to enable ongoing symptom monitoring. This will also ensure space at hospitals to care for the more serious categories of red and yellow patients.
Kiatipoom warned that further cases were inevitable given Phuket’s position as a pilot region for receiving incoming tourists and the rapid spread of the Omicron strain of the virus worldwide and as the Ministry of Public Health raised the COVID-19 alert in Thailand from Level 3 to Level 4 in response to the growing number of Omicron infections throughout the country.
“All appropriate departments must closely monitor and assess the situation to prepare beds, medicines and medical supplies for patients,” Kiatipoom urged.
He also confirmed an increase in the provision of proactive vaccination services in the area so that people can get inoculated.
“I will propose to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administer (CCSA) to adjust to the latest COVID-19 situation around the country to ensure there are more intensive prevention and control measures in place,” he said.
He concluded by confirming that the Phuket Sandox project will continue but the Test & Go initiative would be suspended until the end of the month when it will be reviewed again at national level.