Phuket under lockdown

Phuket under lockdown

Phuket: The governor of Phuket has ordered a weeklong lockdown of the tourist destination in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19 after nine new cases emerged yesterday, bringing the provincial total up to 26.

Pakkhapong Thawiphat said he has decided to impose the lockdown immediately until March 31.

"However, if the infections continue to rise, the provincial communicable disease committee will meet again to issue additional measures, which may include banning people from leaving their homes until the situation improves," the governor told a press conference yesterday.

Governor Pakkhapong has instructed all at-risk locations, including entertainment venues and department stores, to close while ordering restaurants and food vendors to only provide takeaways.

All travellers entering the island will also have to undergo a thermal scan, the governor added.

Provincial public health chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew said the nine new cases comprise five Thai women, one Thai man, two French nationals and a Swedish national.

Of the five Thai women, four have records of either working in or frequenting entertainment venues, while the fifth is a 62-year-old businesswoman who just returned from Switzerland.

The Thai man works as a security guard at a bar, while the two French patients comprise an engineer who has just returned from France and a golf coach who has just returned from Spain. The Swedish woman is a flight attendant who went to Spain and Sweden before arriving in Phuket.

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