Phuket's Covid cases rising, especially among migrant workers

Phuket's Covid cases rising, especially among migrant workers

Phuket health chief Dr Koosak Kookiatkul speaks to reporters on Wednesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Phuket health chief Dr Koosak Kookiatkul speaks to reporters on Wednesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: The number of Covid-19 cases is rising rapidly, especially among migrant workers from Myanmar contributing to the reopening of the tourist island, the provincial health chief said on Wednesday.

Koosak Kookiatkul said Phuket logged 297 new Covid-19 cases last week, and 328 so far this week.

"New cases are coming on a wave of the Delta variant, which spreads 60-70% faster than the outbreak in April. There are more patients as we have more visitors and inbound workers," he said.

Dr Koosak said infections were increasing among Myanmar workers contributing to the economy at fresh markets, factories and on fishing boats.

Markets and workers' dormitories must be sealed off if infection rates exceed 10%, he said.

Three construction camps - in Patong, Karon and Thalang districts - had already been closed off. Construction was continuing, however, while medics took care of the workers.

About 30 infected Myanmar workers were staying aboard two fishing boats that brought supplies to Phuket. They were receiving medication and most of them were asymptomatic.

Increasing admissions to field hospitals in Phuket prompted provincial authorities to open a Covid-19 care centre in an unused building at the old Phuket prison on Wednesday, to treat the people who tested positive via antigen kits and remained healthy, Dr Koosak said.

On Tuesday Phuket recorded 54 new Covid-19 cases. This raised the total number of Covid-19 cases since the start of April to 1,609 and included 52 visitors who arrived under the Phuket Sandbox reopening programme that started on July 1.

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