PHUKET: The so-called "Safety Phuket Island Sandbox" will officially begin on Nov 26 at Pa Tong beach and Walking Street in Muang district as part of a Public Health Ministry pilot scheme to promote health and safety for tourists.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will preside over the opening event, according to Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, the Phuket Public Health Office chief.
Dr Thanit Sermkaew, medical supervisor of Health Service Provider Board Office 11 overseeing Phuket, said the health and safety campaign will run for 100 days.
He was speaking after holding discussions with the sandbox organiser.
The programme will also be conducted in 13 provinces with high tourist traffic, with the health service provider boards to take charge of it.
It aims to boost tourists' confidence in the medical care provided by local authorities. This is expected to drive up tourist numbers, boding well for the local economy.
Services offered include a "sky doctor" medical response team, and Green Health certificates will also be awarded for health-promoting hotels and tourist attractions. Hospital facilities and medical care quality will also be improved.
Food safety for dishes cooked by street food vendors will also be prioritised.
Apart from Phuket, the programme will expand to 12 other provinces: Bangkok, Nan, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Rayong, Kalasin, Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Trang, and Ubon Ratchathani.
According to Dr Thanit, the sandbox project in Phuket is centred on emergency medical units being made available at Pa Tong beach, rabies protection, free influenza vaccination for 100,000 tourism workers, Street Food Good Health certification, the establishment of a Travel Medicine Centre as well as the introduction of a digital disease report platform.