First Covid-infected tourist found in Phuket Sandbox

PHUKET : A man from the United Arab Emirates who arrived in this southern island province in a tour group on Tuesday was found to be infected with Covid-19, governor Narong Woonciew said on Wednesday.

He is the first tourist found with the virus since the province was reopened on July 1 under the Phuket Sandbox scheme, he said.

The provincial health office reported that a sample swab was taken from the tourist on his arrival at Phuket international airport on Tuesday, before he went to his hotel.

Between 10pm-11pm, the test result came out positive.

Health officials immediately informed the manager of the hotel and took the tourist to a hospital for treatment.

Other tourists in the same group had been placed in 14-day quarantine at a hotel provided by the province for observation and Covid-19 testing.

Tourists visit the old quarter of Phuket town, where the clock tower has been brightened up with lights and colours. (Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand)
Tourists visit the old quarter of Phuket town, where the clock tower has been brightened up with lights and colours. (Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand)

From July 1-7 a total of 2,113 had arrived in Phuket under the Sandbox programme, the governor said.

Phuket added two new local infections on Tuesday, bringing total cases there to 755 during  the third virus surge, according to the provincial public health office. It said  70% of the population has now received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

Provincial health chief Chaloempong Sukhonthaphol said outstanding groups, including students aged 18 or more, will start getting their first doses this month. Other targets were students and workers who commute from Phangnga.

Phuket authorities have banned entry of people from other provinces unless they have received two doses, or one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine at least 14 days earlier.

BANGKOK POST

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