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Phuket Sandbox over 2000 arrivals; 1 Covid-19 infection


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On day 7 of the Phuket Sandbox, international arrivals have surpassed 2,000 people, the first Covid-19 infection from abroad has been found, and a few hiccups have been addressed. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew says the reopening is definitely benefiting the economy, but plenty of improvements are to be made. Government officials have been pleased to announce that with their strict arrival requirements and testing for the Sandbox, no Covid-19 infections have been found in international arrivals. But new reporting within the last hour suggests that one man from the United Arab Emirates has just tested positive for Covid-19. The vaccinated […]

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There are 8,129,670 tests conducted in Thailand and 301,172 infections found, according to this article 2,113 fully vaccinated and previously tested tourists were tested again and 1 was found infected. You do the math, I am not good in science

Edited by AlexPTY
numbers corrected
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They have not reported about those of High risk on the flight they came in on or others of high risk whilst in contact with this party. So far 4 coffee shops have been designated high risk and tracers are out for people that have visited those shops. People that were on the same flight may be puckering that they also will not be interned (quarantine seems a bad word in Phuket) in a hotel of local government choosing for 14 days.

More to come in future reports I am sure.

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Surely no one expected any other scenario playing out. I think it's fairly obvious that it was doomed from the start, and I still can not assess why it is that they're so desperately focused on revitalizing international tourism. It doesn't really effect the overall economy nor GDP, correct? 

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21 minutes ago, AlexPTY said:

There are 8,129,670 tests conducted in Thailand and 301,172 infections found, according to this article 2,113 fully vaccinated and previously tested tourists were tested again and 1 was found infected. You do the math, I am not good in science

Alex … 1 in 26 verses 1 in 2113. But as I learnt from statistics when at school, you can make numbers into anything you want. Like here, 1 in 2113 was a hundred percent of the sample size where the other is only around 15 percent of the sample size. A mass testing may skew the numbers slightly but the Thai government certainly won’t pay for that.

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35 minutes ago, AdvocatusDiaboli said:

People that were on the same flight may be puckering that they also will not be interned (quarantine seems a bad word in Phuket) in a hotel of local government choosing for 14 days.

 

They maay well have puckered in vain.

According to the Bangkok Post "other tourists in the same group had been placed in a 14 day quarantine at a hotel provided by the province for observation and Covid-19 testing".

 

I doubt that's what they were expecting, as that wasn't part of the plans as announced and published.

 

If  I were a "tourist",  or just a returnee avoiding ASQ, I'd be far from happy  and it can hardly fill potential tourists with confidence about what may happen to them through no fault of their own.

 

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39 minutes ago, Objectivance said:

Surely no one expected any other scenario playing out. I think it's fairly obvious that it was doomed from the start, and I still can not assess why it is that they're so desperately focused on revitalizing international tourism. It doesn't really effect the overall economy nor GDP, correct? 

I agree the focus seems at odds with the official GDP figures for international tourism (10%). As I said on another post, either the 10% is understated and the officials know it (maybe 15-20%), or the impact of foreign currency injection plays a part? Either way though, 10% is still a big hit on a countries GDP when there is no easy way to revive it other than vaccination. 

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7 minutes ago, Rick said:

Arrival tested positive.?  Thought could only travel with a negative test

That’s right. But if he had the test 3 days before travel and then caught it a day later, it will have been brewing nicely and detected when they arrived. I don’t know why airlines don’t require a lateral flow test before boarding. I know it’s far less accurate than a PCR but what’s the point in a test 72 hours before you fly? You could mix with hundreds of potentially infected people in those three days. No matter how you look at it, there is no foolproof way. What the Thais are trying to do is probably the best compromise.
In actual fact, detecting this person should been seen as a success; the process as designed worked. The only thing they have wrong is the reaction to it. They should isolate this guy in his room and if he’s ok then after day 7 do another test. Chances are he will be fine. Least he can enjoy 7 days of his 14 days on the beach. 
 

Or, get the vaccines rolled out and it’s all fixed. But that’s going to take until next April or longer at this rate. 

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10 minutes ago, Tornado said:

The core question is what type of vaccine did he receive. Some vaccines are not able to protect against the Delta Variant.

Good question.  Looking at a UAE website they have four vaccines available and not sure if citizens have a choice on which one they receive.  (Copy/pasted here) There are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the COVID-19 infection: one by Sinopharm, the other by Pfizer-BioNTech, the third by Sputnik V and the latest by Oxford-AstraZeneca.

There is also that chance of a “false positive”, but who knows?

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16 minutes ago, Stonker said:

They maay well have puckered in vain.

According to the Bangkok Post "other tourists in the same group had been placed in a 14 day quarantine at a hotel provided by the province for observation and Covid-19 testing".

I doubt that's what they were expecting, as that wasn't part of the plans as announced and published.

If  I were a "tourist",  or just a returnee avoiding ASQ, I'd be far from happy  and it can hardly fill potential tourists with confidence about what may happen to them through no fault of their own.

I agree Stonker. I’m considering Phuket as an alternative to ASQ in Bangkok, but having serious second thoughts. 
 

If you manage to get past the first PCR test on arrival, you still have the concern that one of the others on the same flight could fail it and they would then be looking to find you for a further tests. Then you have the issue of what do you do with your time in the first week? If you travel around having coffee and lunch and being around people in shopping malls then what happens if you contract it and test positive on day 7? If you get through that hurdle then the same issues for days 7-13.
 

Finally, if you test clear on day 13 and plan to visit your best friend in Issan, you may find that there are further local restrictions. A friend of mine recently underwent ASQ is Bangkok and had problems being allowed to board a flight to Udon due to Covid concerns. 

For from straightforward…..

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4 minutes ago, Soidog said:

You could mix with hundreds of potentially infected people in those three days. No matter how you look at it, there is no foolproof way. What the Thais are trying to do is probably the best compromise.

Or, get the vaccines rolled out and it’s all fixed. But that’s going to take until next April or longer at this rate. 

I agree one could get infected anytime in the 72 hours prior to flight and was a worry for me returning this past February.

I’m guessing the vaccine rollout comment is for people here in Thailand, as this person should have been vaccinated at his home country prior to coming to Phuket.   I agree that it could be April or longer the way things are going here in Thailand.  Keep trying to register and less than an hour trying to get registered all available doses for October are filled.  Hurry up and wait for the next round ?

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21 minutes ago, Tornado said:

The core question is what type of vaccine did he receive. Some vaccines are not able to protect against the Delta Variant.

Just to add a bit to that. No vaccines fully protect you against it. It’s just some are better than others and this varies depending on the variant of Covid you are subjected to. Two friends of mine, both fully vaccinated back in May caught it two weeks ago. One had been vaccinated with AZ, the other with Pfizer. Both had what they described as a few bad days of flu and spent a day in bed. By day 4 they were feeling much better and by day 6 all feeling fine. The point of the vaccines being that it stops (reduces significantly) the chances of you dying from Covid.  
 

A recent article by the BBC quoted this when looking at data in the U.K…. “Back in January (before vaccine rollout), about one in 10 infections could be expected to translate into a hospital admission 10 days later. Now that figure appears to be somewhere between one in 40 and one in 50.”

It went on to say …”The risk of death, as a result, has reduced even further. In January about one in 60 cases resulted in someone dying. Today it's fewer than one in 1,000”. 
 

This is what vaccines do. They do help with protecting you from contracting the virus, but you are far from immune!

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11 minutes ago, Soidog said:

I agree Stonker. I’m considering Phuket as an alternative to ASQ in Bangkok, but having serious second thoughts. 

A bit like roulette just to get into the country, in the sandbox. And there are those that the odds of only having to fork out for a STA+ hotel only is good odds over that plus another 14 days that you would also have to pay for a ASQ in Phuket.

I would no be able to give anyone advice for travelling domestically in Thailand in any of the provinces as lots of travel rules are starting to pop up. 
 

Soidog, good luck with your travels what ever you decide on, and stay safe out there.

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the EU did not ban Sinovac and Sputnik V, it is not approved yet but still under rolling review,

Germany starts to offer Moderna or Pfizer as a second shot after first from AZ,
second shot is now 4 to 6 week after first AZ to speed up full vaccination of the country,
hoping to get better results against variants since Lambda is near too
 

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1 hour ago, Tornado said:

The core question is what type of vaccine did he receive. Some vaccines are not able to protect against the Delta Variant.

Vaccines do not protect against any variant of the virus 100%, only reduce severity of the infection. Some better, some worse, it also highly depend on individual immune system.

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Once the returning expats are back. The foriegn business persons have returned and completed their business, I expect arrivals will go down.

And if another sandbox opens, Phuket is bound to lose some visitors.

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Basically everyone in the UAE got Sinopharm. Pfizer just got approved and was bought to be used as a third dose. The other two were bought earlier so there is a small chance he got one of them. It will be interesting to find out the facts. 

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5 minutes ago, Colin said:

Sorry, that's not quite right. True that Sinopharm was the first and main vaccine available but many of my colleagues and friends have had two shots of Pfizer over the past couple of months.

I stand corrected. That’s what I get for repeating what I read in the media. 

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We also where one of the arrivals, we left after receiving our vaccination.

Please be aware that Phang Nga hospital doesn't like to-do PCR tests on non residents so be willing to travel up-to Takua Pa. Nice ride however... if your on a bigbike.

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3 hours ago, Soidog said:

A friend of mine recently underwent ASQ is Bangkok and had problems being allowed to board a flight to Udon due to Covid concerns. 

For from straightforward…..

 

Really? He should have received 3 covid test certificates and hotel statement when leaving hotel that he have stayed in quarantine, if that is not enough to avoid trouble for boarding I don't know what will!

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17 minutes ago, Tjampman said:

Really? He should have received 3 covid test certificates and hotel statement when leaving hotel that he have stayed in quarantine, if that is not enough to avoid trouble for boarding I don't know what will!

I don’t know the full details but apparently it was at check in. He had the documents you refer to but the check in staff where unaware. They apparently were more concerned that he didn’t have a hotel booking on Udon as he was staying with a friend. I believe the problem was resolved once his friends wife who is Thai confirmed he would be staying with her. Provided Thai ID and I think that resolved the matter. 

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5 hours ago, Objectivance said:

Surely no one expected any other scenario playing out. I think it's fairly obvious that it was doomed from the start, and I still can not assess why it is that they're so desperately focused on revitalizing international tourism. It doesn't really effect the overall economy nor GDP, correct? 

It accounts for about 15% -20% of total GDP as I understand it, but for some areas - Pattaya, Phuket, etc - it accounts for closer to 80%. I think the government is trying to stop the cashcows from dying.

Not that I think it's possible at this point, but I can understand why they want to.

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2 hours ago, TobyAndrews said:

Once the returning expats are back. The foriegn business persons have returned and completed their business, I expect arrivals will go down.

And if another sandbox opens, Phuket is bound to lose some visitors.

If statistics were available they may also prove Bangkok ASQ numbers have plummeted in line with the sandbox opening.

Genuine tourists likely to be a very small % this month.

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5 hours ago, Rick said:

Arrival tested positive.?  Thought could only travel with a negative test

PCR tests have a fail rate of about 15%. The second test at HKT reduces this risk to 2.25% approx.

Before anyone worries that this means there are now about 50 infected people who have flown in recently, it should be noted that as they were all vaxxed, there really is very little chance that they were a false negative,

According the US CDC, vax failure accounts for about .01% of all new infections, but that was before Delta came on the scene.

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