The Phuket News

High risk contact tourists still face quarantine

- Editor@classactme­

Tourists staying at hotels who are deemed to be high risk contacts will continue to be quarantine­d for 10 days, according to an order issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew.

High-risk contacts must be quarantine­d in their hotel room, but separated from any person deemed to have been infected with COVID-19, according to the order, one of four issued by Governor Narong on Mar 23.

They must be tested for COVID-19 by ATK method (antigen test kit) on the 5th and 10th day of the quarantine period.

If the tourist tests negative by ATK on Day 5 of their quarantine period and shows no signs of infection, the tourist may be allowed to venture out of their hotel room to enjoy the common areas of the hotel.

However, the high risk contact must remain separated from the “infected person” until the infected person has completed the quarantine period.

“In the event that high-risk contacts do not want to quarantine in the room during the first 5 days, they can be tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR or ATK method before leaving the room on a daily basis.

“If the test result is negative and the tourist shows no signs of infection, the tourist is able to leave the room to use the common areas within the hotel or accommodat­ion.

“They must wear a mask at all times, keep their distance from other people and not share meals with others. They must also wash their hands with alcohol gel before touching items and appliances that must be shared with other people,” the order said.


The order allowed high risk contacts to stay in the same hotel room as the person deemed to have been infected, under certain conditions.

“In case the high-risk contact does not want to move to a separate room from the infected person, they must stay within the room and must not leave the room throughout the period of 10 days,” the order said.

“Sharing accommodat­ion with an infected person shall be regarded as the day of exposure to the disease,” the order noted.

“Roommates can be tested for COVID-19 by ATK method on a daily basis or be tested on days 5 and 10. If the test results are positive, they will have to remain quarantine­d for 10 days from the day of testing positive,“the order continued.

The order mandated that the hotel or accommodat­ion provider must arrange for a SHA Plus Manager to supervise the COVID-19 testing of high-risk contacts.

The order comes as Phuket health officials themselves are admitting that 95% of the recent COVID-19 infections on the island are asymptomat­ic or exhibit only mild signs of infection.

Such people, if they are island residents, are only required to selfisolat­e at home.


Meanwhile, national health authoritie­s are now advising against the arbitrary use of ATK and RT-PCR tests, while also assuring that four COVID vaccine doses are enough for now and there are no plans to administer fifth doses.

Dr Banlang Uppapong, deputy chief of the Department of Medical Sciences (DMS), said ATK and RT-PCR tests should be used only when individual­s have been exposed to COVID risks.

Tests are appropriat­e for use within 14 days after traveling from locations with high infection rates or after contact with someone who contracted COVID-19, he said, reported state news agency NNT.

Use of ATKs are not recommende­d when no symptoms or risks are present, Dr Banlang said.

The senior health officials further noted that people who have received their third vaccine dose should make preparatio­ns for receiving their fourth.

 ?? Photo: PPHO / file ?? Phuket health officials explain the COVID regulation­s to a resort owner.
Photo: PPHO / file Phuket health officials explain the COVID regulation­s to a resort owner.

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