High Covid-19 infection rates in Phuket may delay island reopening for international tourists, Phuket governor warns

Phuket –

Phuket may not be able to pursue its plan of the island reopening for foreign tourists by July 1st if the number of Covid-19 domestic infections remains high with no sign of it dropping, governor Narong Woonciew warned today.

The governor said today, May 12th, that the provincial authorities had set a target for the number of daily infections to go down to one digit by May 15th in order to reopen the island to international tourists on July 1st.

“But if the number of infections continues at 10-15 cases a day, the plan might not be implemented anytime soon. Therefore, we all must work together to reduce the number of daily infections to the lowest possible rate,” Narong stated.

Dr. Kusak Kukiatikul of the provincial health office said the Covid-19 situation in Phuket was still concerning as the number of daily infections continued to rise, especially among high-risk people in local quarantines and proactive screening.

New clusters were still detected during active finding because there were still social gatherings, socializing, and partying in violation of Phuket’s Covid-19 restrictions. The provincial health office would have to conduct more aggressive measures since the number of infections was still at a high rate, Dr. Kusak continued.

Some residents in Phuket reportedly violated the emergency health controls by conducting what officials called a large gathering earlier this week. The Pattaya News notes the actual number of people gathered at this “large gathering” was six. As of Sunday, a group of Thai and British nationals was captured at a house in the Thalang district of Phuket after reportedly gathering and drinking in a violation of disease decrees and provincial Covid-19 control measures. The incident drew significant discussion on social media, with many surprised that it would be considered a gathering.

The Pattaya News notes that under the Emergency Decree, as few as two people not from the same household could be considered a gathering if it was for socializing or mingling purposes and could face legal repercussions.

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