Passengers Bound for Phuket Test Positive for Covid-19

Phuket Sandbox passengers test positive for Covid-19 (Photo: Bao Menglong)

Thailand’s resort island of Phuket remains on high alert after passengers arriving from Bangkok tested positive for Covid-19.

The island has recently opened up to tourists under the Phuket Sandbox initiative, allowing vaccinated international tourists to visit the island without entering quarantine. The project is a beacon of hope for tourism-reliant Thailand, with plans to expand the scheme to other parts of the country if it proves successful.

However, a domestic passenger on a Thai Smile flight from Suvarnabhumi on 1 July was confirmed to have been infected with Covid-19, according to Thailand’s National News Bureau.

The passenger had boarded flight WE201, leaving Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 07:04 last Thursday. All passengers on the same flight have been instructed to visit their closest hospital or authorized clinic for a Covid-19 test.

Meanwhile, VietJet has issued a statement regarding the possibility of a passenger also testing positive on flight VZ314 departing Suvarnabhumi Airport on 25 June, landing in Phuket at 8:40 am.

The airline also issued a notice urging those sitting in certain seat numbers to immediately be tested for Covid-19.

“Thai Vietjet has immediately taken preventive and control measures by having flight crew, cabin crew, and ground staff of the reported flights quarantined. The aircraft used to operate the reported flights have also been disinfected on a daily basis following standards since then, to avoid the risk of virus transmission,” the airline said in its statement.

At the same time, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has entered quarantine after taking a selfie with an official who attended Phuket’s official reopening under the Sandbox model last week.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut and Surin Chamber of Commerce, Veerasak Pisanuwong, take a selfie together.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut and Surin Chamber of Commerce, Veerasak Pisanuwong, take a selfie together (Photo: Thaiger)

Chairman for the Surin Chamber of Commerce, Veerasak Pisanuwong, announced on his Facebook page that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He advised all those who had been in close contact with him to self-isolate.

While PM Prayut has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and received a negative test, he will remain in self-isolation for 14 days as a precautionary measure.