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Phuket Island becomes fortress to contain Covid-19 outbreak

Samui Times Editor



Phuket Island becomes fortress to contain Covid-19 outbreak | Samui Times
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Yesterday, Phuket has officially commenced a transport lockdown, with most transportation to the island banned, in efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Land and sea transport onto the island is now banned, except for essential food and medical supplies. Phuket, linked to the mainland and Phang Nga province by a 300 metre bridge, is now cut off from the Thai mainland.

Phuket’s Governor, Pakkapong Taweepat, says…

“The order will last for at least one month. Boats, cars and trucks providing essential goods and services are exempted.”

This is all part of the state emergency decree enforced by the Thai Government. Previously, officials announced that inter-provincial travel is restricted. Now it seems that any kind of travel in or off the island will not be permitted.

This includes…

  • Sarasin Bridge, the bridge linking Phuket to Phang Nga province and the mainland, will be closed.
  • No boat traffic in or out of Phuket, except cargo.
  • Access for the supply of foodstuffs, medical and vital supplies will continue.
  • The airport remains open for domestic and international flights (until April 10).
  • These changes are in force until April 30.

These changes are added to the proclamations put out last week, which included the request to stay at home and remain in your accommodation or homes from 8pm – 3am every night. All Phuket beaches are also closed today around the island. The Governor has also told everyone on the island to wear a face mask any time they are in public spaces.

So for those Phuketians out there, looks like you may be stranded on the island, at least for a little while.

Phuket’s has taken a hard hit by the Covid-19 virus, with economy plummeting from the outbreak. About 56% of total employment in Phuket was in tourism-related industries, leaving a lot of businesses crumbling from the backlash of the virus and the ongoing deteriorating tourism.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand said in a note…

“Thailand’s foreign tourism receipts plunged in February to the lowest since 2015 and the nation’s economy is course for its worst contraction this year since the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s.”

Thailand’s revenue from tourism falls to lowest since June 2015.

Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok were all popular destinations with tourists before the disease hit, but be aware, they now have some of Thailand’s biggest Covid-19 clusters.

Officials are taking a range of steps as infections increase. Overall, confirmed cases have risen by 143 on Sunday to 1,388, with one additional death reported, bringing the count to seven fatalities.

SOURCE: The Thaiger, Bloomberg

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