Udon lays out the red carpet for returnees

Udon lays out the red carpet for returnees

UDON THANI: A group of 69 people yesterday arrived home in this northeastern province from Phuket in three air-conditioned buses arranged by the provincial authority on Tuesday afternoon.

They were welcomed on arrival by governor Nirat Pongsithithaworn, local officials, their relatives and businessmen who had provided support for their return trip from the southern island province.

The 69 were the second group of returnees from Phuket after the province's lockdown was relaxed.

The first group of 45 arrived earlier in two buses.

The returnees' temperatures were taken and their suitcases and other belongings disinfected. They filled out a form with personal bio-data and work history, addresses and telephone numbers before being taken to the fifth floor of a dormitory of Udon Thani Rajabhat University for 14-days of quarantine.

The oldest returnee was a 79-year-old grandmother who went to Phuket to visit her children two months ago and could not return because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

A couple with a child from Sang Khom district said they had worked in massage shops in Patong area for approximately three years and sent home 4,000-5,000 baht a month.

They had no income since March 18 and shared a rented house with eight other people. With only a little money left, they were more than happy to be able to return home with free transport.

A man, with a vocational education diploma, said he was less fortunate. He went to Phuket to work with a company installing closed-circuit television cameras. After only one month of work, Phuket declared a lockdown, leaving him jobless.

Mr Nirat welcomed home the returnees. He said that since Phuket is categorised as coronavirus hotspot, they were required to undergo 14-day quarantine.


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