Phuket orders closures of department stores and sports fields for one week following an increasing number of Covid-19 infections on the island

Phuket  –

Phuket authorities last night, July 26th, have ordered a temporary closure of two Central shopping malls and outdoor and indoor sports fields to prevent the spread of Covid-19 following an increasing number of infections on the island.

Phuket governor Narong Woonciew announced the preventive measures after a meeting with the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee yesterday as the total number of infections in Phuket has reached 27 cases, with one case found in the Phuket Sandbox Project.

The regulation includes the closure of Central Festival Phuket and Central Floresta for at least 7 days, from July 27th to August 2nd to have staff from Phuket Provincial Public Health and Vachira Phuket Hospital performed a Covid-19 test for all employees and a major cleaning after an employee was found infected.

The department stores had ordered all 3,500 employees to conduct self-isolation and would be reopened on August 3rd at 11:00 AM., according to their announcement.

The authorities also ordered the extension of all schools’ closure until August 16th and the closure of football fields, futsal fields, and badminton courts from July 27th to August 2nd. Fresh and flea markets must be limited to 1 customer per 4 square meters, effective today.

Despite the increasing daily infections, the Phuket governor insisted that the Phuket Sandbox would confidently continue to welcome vaccinated tourists.

He stated: “As of yesterday, there were 27 infected people; 23 of them were discovered on the island, one was from the Phuket sandbox, and the remaining three patients were in home isolation. However, the project would continue as long as everyone strictly followed the preventive health measures, including wearing face masks and socially distancing.”

Phuket Provincial Public Health officials further said the factors that caused the rising number of infected people were due to the high numbers in the country itself as well as more people traveling to work in Phuket under the Sandbox scheme. The new Delta mutant was also found, causing widespread and rapid spread. Health officials noted that the vast, vast majority of cases were not from foreign tourists participating in the sandbox and were domestically spread.

Therefore, all tourists and local residents are being reminded to wear facial masks, washing their hands, keeping social distance, and not gathering in a large group, regardless of being fully vaccinated.

Dr. Chalermpong Sukhonthaphon, Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, revealed about the vaccination progress in Phuket that more than 70 percent of people in Phuket have been vaccinated with full doses. The 3rd dose of a booster vaccination will also be given to the medical frontliners soon.

“Currently, Phuket has sufficient vaccines to be administered to the medical personnel in order to create social confidence and safety for all incoming tourists and residents. The number of beds and field hospitals are also sufficiently installed to support the infected patients,” he added.

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