Samui logs record jump in new cases

Samui logs record jump in new cases

The first group of tourists arrives at Samui airport on July 15, 2021 after the island reopens for foreign visitors. (Tourism and Sports Ministry photo)
The first group of tourists arrives at Samui airport on July 15, 2021 after the island reopens for foreign visitors. (Tourism and Sports Ministry photo)

SURAT THANI: Koh Samui recorded 20 Covid-19 cases on Wednesay, the highest one-day jump since it reopened to tourism, although local authorities insisted the caseload will not derail the island's sandbox programme.

The discovery of the infections sent off a public health alarm in the island district. Of those diagnosed, 16 belonged to an infection cluster that has been traced to a cashier at a local fitness centre.

Four people infected are a family of three and one foreign national who travelled to the island from Bangkok.

The Samui Plus Model, which emulates the Phuket sandbox programme, was extended to fully-vaccinated foreign tourists with sealed-route tourist itineraries. The programme kicked off on July 15.

The Samui Plus programme also covers nearby Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

On Wednesday, the Covid-19 situation administration centre in Koh Samui district urged people who visited the Speedy Lounge & Bar nightspot on Lamai beach on July 16 and the Black Bamboo Club on July, 16, 17 and 23 to come for a Covid-19 test at the Koh Samui Hospital if they experience flu-like conditions, or experience a temporary loss of smell or taste.

Meanwhile, 10 fishermen who arrived at Bang Rak pier in tambon Bor Phut from neighbouring Nakhon Si Thammarat were sent for a Covid-19 test.

Anyone outside of Samui who arrived on the island from 13 provinces hardest-hit by Covid-19 as well as 53 other provinces with a high prevalence must undergo a test locally if they do not possess documentary proof of a negative test result obtained within the past 72 hours prior to arrival.

The proof must be issued by a state or privately-run hospital certified to carry out the test by the Department of Medical Sciences.

Koh Samui district chief Theerapong Chuaychu said the Covid-19 infections posed no threat to the sandbox programme. He said authorities have pressed charges against the owners of entertainment venues which stayed open beyond closure times.

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