Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced the closure today (Sept 11), which he pointed out was agreed by the Phuket Communicable Disease Control Committee.
The order is in effect from Sept 12-18.*
Governor Narong today explained that he dispatched a team of officers from the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) and from the Muang District Office to the main SuperCheap complex yesterday (Sept 10).
It was reported back to him that 111 staff were tested.
“Among the staff, 20 staff working in the warehouse section and three sales staff tested positive,” Governor Narong said.
Governor Narong gave no explanation as to why he dispatched officers to investigate the site for COVID-19, despite PPHO Chief Kusak Kukiattikoon explaining to Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow at a meeting held in the same conference chamber at Phuket Provincial Hall just yesterday that a cluster of infections had been identified at a large shopping mall.
Dr Kusak revealed no other details about the new cluster, just as Governor Narong today avoided confirming when officials learned about the new infections at the SuperCheap main store.
Of note, while reporting that 111 workers at the complex were reported as tested, it was not confirmed how many people actually work at the usually busy shopping complex, which also features many individual vendors operating small stores at the shopping complex.
Asked why the closure was for only seven days, Governor Narong replied, “For people who may be concerned about why we ordered to close [the SuperCheap scomplex] for only seven days, we have learned from the Bansan market [Phuket Town Fresh Market 1] that we close it for seven days and then test people in the area. If the situation in the area meets our criteria, then they can reopen.”
“An officer at the meeting reminded us to think about effect of the closure on our people, we have thoroughly and carefully considered and agreed to close the store,” he said.
Asked what about the small branches across the island, Governor Narong would only answer, “We will discuss about that later.”
UPDATE: The closure was originally announced by officials yesterday afternoon as from Sept 11-17, but by 8pm last night officials posted the actual order which confirmed it was from Sept 12-18.