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Phuket – surge in illnesses after New Year

Phuket expects a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients due to the rise in new Covid-19 cases

Phuket is expected to face a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients due to an increase in new Covid-19 cases

The number of coronavirus cases in Phuket after the New Year holidays has started rising again and hospital beds will soon be in short supply, the Phuket News reported, citing a statement from a provincial health department official.

As of Sunday, 742 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Phuket. Of these, 513 were locals, two were foreigners, 133 came under the Sandpiper scheme and 94 came under the Test&Go scheme, said Phuket Public Health Authority spokesman Dr Kuksak Kukiatkul.

“An average of 340 new cases have been detected in Phuket over the past seven days and the number is on an upward trend. Hospital occupancy is increasing and there are not enough beds, although the mortality rate is decreasing,” said Dr Kuksak.

Samples collected by local health authorities showed that 66.3% of infections were caused by the Omicron variety, the doctor noted, adding that local quarantine facilities for high-risk groups were also facing a shortage of beds.

The Ministry of Health has raised Phuket’s coronavirus alert level to level 4 and people have been warned not to visit places at risk of infection, such as crowded events, entertainment venues and rooms with poor ventilation. Those returning from other provinces have been advised to monitor their health for 14 days, work from home, get vaccinated and take an antigen test, Dr Kuksak said.

Those who have contracted the coronavirus are advised to contact 1330 to register for home isolation, while businesses are urged to apply a bubble system if the infection is detected at industrial sites, the doctor added.

Phuket Governor Narong Wunzeev said he had instructed local authorities to ensure sufficient medical resources to deal with the surge in new cases.

“Home and community isolation will be a priority because most patients have mild symptoms and this will help free up hospital beds for severe cases and for patients with other types of diseases,” Narong said.

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