Hua Hin pub gig leads to virus surge

Hua Hin pub gig leads to virus surge

Free Covid testing in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Hua Hin's red light district is deserted on Monday evening following the closure of bars and a spike in Covid-19 cases in Hua Hin and other districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. (Photo: Dave Kendall)
Hua Hin's red light district is deserted on Monday evening following the closure of bars and a spike in Covid-19 cases in Hua Hin and other districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. (Photo: Dave Kendall)

Covid cases have surged in Prachuap Khiri Khan, with many infections traced to a concert in the seaside district of Hua Hin, according to the provincial public health office.

The province reported a one-day jump of 141 infections on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative case count to 334, with no deaths. Most patients exhibited no severe symptoms, said Suriya Khuharat, head of the Prachuap Khiri Khan provincial public health office. The majority of sufferers in the province contracted the virus while attending the Joey Boy concert at the Maya Exclusive Pub in Hua Hin on March 30.

Twenty of the new cases had visited other entertainment venues in Hua Hin, five in other areas in Prachuap Khiri Khan and five in Bangkok and other provinces. Most of the infected people in Prachuap Khiri Khan had mild symptoms and their conditions were being closely observed, Dr Suriya said.

People who went to the same places at the same time as the infected people can receive a free Covid-19 test at Prachuap Khiri Khan Hospital and Hua Hin Hospital. An average of 500 people daily have gone to the Hua Hin Hospital for Covid-19 tests in the past several days, according to the doctor.

Hua Hin deputy district chief Montri Manichpong and assistant public health officer Janewit Plisak on Tuesday filed a complaint with Hua Hin police, urging them to take action against the owner of Maya Exclusive Pub for violating the Communicable Disease Act, the Entertainment Venue Act and the emergency decree.

The concert at the pub on March 30 is attributed to a string of new Covid-19 cases in Hua Hin. More than 90% of the cases found in the area were linked to the venue, authorities said.

Hua Hin police chief Phaitoon Promkhian said police have launched a criminal investigation into the complaint and plan to question the pub's patrons. However, since many are currently being treated in hospitals with Covid-19, the interrogation will have to wait until they are given a clean bill of health by doctors.

"We will investigate the matter further before filing charges against the pub owner and/or manager," Pol Col Phaitoon said.

According to media reports, a driver of Prachuap Khiri Khan's deputy governor has tested positive after visiting the pub.

The Prachuap Khiri Khan transmission is believed to have started with one woman who worked as a public relations officer at Krystal Club in Thong Lor. She attended the concert on March 30 before developing a high fever the next day.


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