Phuket wants to be pilot province where Covid is an endemic


Phichet Panaphong, deputy governor of Phuket, said Phuket would like to be a pilot province where Covid-19 is relegated from pandemic to endemic. For Covid to be treated as an endemic, the number of infected patients in a province must not exceed 1 per cent and the death rate should not be higher than 0.1 per cent, as per the conditions set by the Ministry of Public Health.

The province has also asked to reduce quarantine time for Covid-19 patients from a full 10 days to be divided into 5:5 days – 5 days at home or hospital quarantine or hospital treatment according to symptoms, and 5 days with permission to allow patients to work while maintaining self-protection measures. This aims to fix the long leave of absence that may lead to jobs loss, the province’s deputy governor Phichet Panaphong said.

They have also requested to be a pilot province to cancel the daily report of the number of infected people, only colour codes of patients in various conditions; yellow (mild and semi-critical), red (critical), black (death).

On February 1, the Test & Go project restarted in Phuket. Pichet admitted that many problems had occurred on the job site, which all parties, including government agencies and the private sector, had tried to help each other find solutions, such as virus-detection capability at airports, the change of entry system from Certificate of Entry to Thailand Pass, the issue of insurance not covering minor sickness claims, etc.

“Phuket is a safe city for everyone and has the potential and resources to care for infected people, both locals and tourists,” said Phichet.

As of February 19, 549 new cases were found locally, 67 in Phuket Sandbox, and 49 cases in Test & Go, totalling 665 cases.