Phuket is not afraid of the omicron variant and is opening isolation centres and hotel hospitals for infected foreign tourists
Phuket remains a popular tourist destination among foreign tourists as more than 4,000 applicants submit requests to enter the resort island daily through the Thailand Pass system, the Bangkok Post reported citing the Phuket Tourism Association.
Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said most applicants were from Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Britain, the US and France. On Tuesday, the association registered 4,288 requests. The number of applicants shows that the anti-Covid-19 measures in Phuket are working and inspire confidence in tourists, Bhummikitti is confident.
According to the association president, among foreign travellers who are diagnosed with the coronavirus after arriving in the country, about 70-80% are infected with the omicron variant, but 90% of cases show only mild symptoms.
Infected foreign patients can stay in their hotels if they can be isolated in their rooms, said Bhummikitti. To do so, the hotel must have a “Safety and Health Administration Plus” certificate from the Thai Ministry of Health. If a hotel has not prepared rooms to isolate infected travellers, the hotel manager will coordinate with authorities to find suitable facilities, such as hotel hospitals and newly established traveller isolation units, said the head of the Phuket Tourist Association.
Currently, 126 of the 480 hotels have registered for the isolated hotel rooms programme, meaning they have allocated some of their rooms to isolate infected travellers with mild symptoms. The total number of rooms under the programme in Phuket now stands at 650, Bhummikitti said.
The Phuket Tourist Association expects the number of accredited hotels to double to 250 in the near future, the association president added. In addition, Bangkok Hospital Phuket will join forces with a local hotel to add another 100 hospital rooms, Bhummikitti said.
Three traveller isolation centres will open in Phuket today. These centres will provide an alternative for infected travellers who cannot find hotels with especially isolated rooms or are waiting for health insurance approval to stay.
As of Monday, Phuket had recorded 468 new cases of Covid-19 internally, 184 cases from the Phuket Sandbox and 74 cases from the Test&Go scheme. No new deaths have been reported.
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