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Protesters force end to quarantine

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About 50 people in Phuket province on Wednesday forced the closure of a hotel used as a Covid-19 quarantine facility in Muang district’s Rawai village, despite an appeal for understanding by a local health official.

Those who have returned to Thailand from abroad are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period and the government is looking to enlist the help of hotels to provide space.

The protesters, who mostly live in Ban Bang Khon Thi village, gathered in Muang district about 10am yesterday, vowing to prevent the hotel from being used as a makeshift quarantine facility.

Arun Solot, mayor of Rawai, gave in to their demand and told Vachira Phuket Hospital, which was working with the hotel, to remove every guest under quarantine.

Anuphap Rotkhwanyotrabam, chief of the district office, previously tried to reassure residents that their community was safe from Covid-19.

Mr Anuphap told the protesters that those who stayed at the hotel to fulfil quarantine requirements did not have the virus but did need to be monitored.

He said health workers checked everyone under quarantine every morning and police ensured the guests cannot leave the hotel without permission.

Another three Covid-19 cases were reported by the Phuket communicable disease committee yesterday, bringing the provincial virus figure to 191.

Of the 191 cases, 77 people have recovered, the committee said. The rest are still under treatment, including three people who are in critical condition.

In other news, a team of 58 doctors and nurses from Songklanagarind Hospital in Songkhla province’s Hat Yai district arrived on the island yesterday to help local health workers.

The team will work in the stadium of Prince Songkla University, which was turned into a makeshift treatment facility.

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