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Phang Nga’s Moken village closed to visitors after virus outbreak

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The Moken village in Phang Nga province was closed to visitors on Monday after an outbreak of Covid-19 among the ethnic group of sea nomads.

Random antigen (ATK) tests among 100 villagers showed 10 have contracted the virus, Surin Islands National Park office announced.

Phang Nga public health officials will test more villagers on February 21-22 to confirm the results, said Athit Khawanjit, chief of Surin Islands National Park.

“Those who have tested positive have been told to stay in home isolation, while officials are monitoring the situation closely and preparing to transport patients who develop severe symptoms to hospitals in the province,” he added.

Phang Nga’s Moken village closed to visitors after virus outbreak

Phang Nga’s Moken village closed to visitors after virus outbreak

Moken or Morgan is a Yawi/Thai-speaking ethnic tribe that lives along Bon Bay in Phang Nga’s Kuraburi district. Dubbed the “home to the Gypsies of the Andaman Sea”, the Moken village has become a tourist attraction that showcases the authentic lifestyle of seafaring peoples. An estimated 200 Moken villagers live around Bon Bay.

The village was previously ordered to shut in late 2021 during the Delta outbreak to prevent tourists from spreading the virus to villagers. It reopened on December 31, only to be shut again less than two months later.

Phang Nga’s Moken village closed to visitors after virus outbreak

Phang Nga’s Moken village closed to visitors after virus outbreak

Published : February 21, 2022

By : THE NATION