Hua Hin’s Chief District Officer presided over a meeting with representatives of the local government and private sector organisations including the media in order to provide information about the novel coronavirus and to establish the Hua Hin Coordination Centre for Coronavirus Prevention.
Mr. Thanont Panpipas described the current coronavirus situation and proposed different measures to prevent the virus from spreading. He also mentioned the 73-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who fell sick and was quarantined in a local private hospital. She was later sent to a hospital in Bangkok to further monitor her condition. The patient is now recovering and shows no symptoms of illness.
Meanwhile, Mr Janewit Plisak of the Hua Hin Public Health Office said, “The Ministry of Public Health is not inactive after the spreading of the new virus. We have provided hotel operators, private and government sectors, schools, hospitals and residents with crucial information about the virus, mainly the different measures to reduce the risk of infection e.g. avoid eating undercooked food, always drink clean mineral water, wash hands frequently, etc”, he added.
People and vendors in tourist areas such as the railway station, night markets and shopping malls are advised to wear surgical masks. The city will provide hand sanitiser gel in public places and install check points to screen people for symptoms of the virus with a thermal scanner, which can accurately detect the human body’s temperature even from a distance. The Hua Hin Coordination Centre for Coronavirus Prevention will be reporting daily on the virus situation to relevant agencies including the media, according to the Chief District Officer.
However, the immigration police are concerned about Chinese tourists staying in private apartments and pool villas, fearing that they won’t be able to track their whereabouts. Under the immigration Act BE 2522, Section 38, the owner of a residence has to notify the immigration office within 24 hours of the time a resident has checked in. Failure to comply may result in the residence’s owner being fined between 2,000- 10,000 Baht per offense.
Hua Hin Mayor Mr. Nopporn Wuttikul said he wanted every relevant sector to help ensure tourists’ and local residents’ confidence. The city had already taken the necessary precautions and no additional suspected cases had been reported, he said.
Acting Sub Lt. Korakot Opas, Deputy Director of TAT Prachuap Khiri Khan Office, said, “Chinese tour agencies have been temporarily closed since 24th January. It was expected that there would be at least 300,000 Chinese tourists visiting Thailand during the Lunar New Year holiday. “With the coronavirus outbreak continuing, the number of visitors from China traveling to Thailand has plummeted by 70 percent or approximately 1,980,000 people,” the TAT official continued.
“Hua Hin city will lose 4,000 Chinese tourists, which will hurt its economy badly.” In addition, Hua Hin Airport has implemented the measure of screening all passengers arriving on domestic and international flights in order to stop the spread of the virus.
During a reporter’s visit at Hua Hin Airport, information was given in relation to health officials, tourist police and airport authorities who will be assigned to various medical checkpoints in the airport. Passengers will undergo a thermal scan to check their body temperatures even before reaching the immigration counters to have their passports stamped. Any passengers suspected of being infected will be sent for further examination and immediate treatment.
Ms. Soraya Homchuen, Director of TAT Prachuap Khiri Khan Office, said Hua Hin is one of Chinese tourists’ favourite destinations during the Lunar New Year holiday, but tourist arrival numbers have been severely affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although the coronavirus is less severe than SARs, the situation is likely to continue for at least the next two months. The numbers of Chinese tourist arrivals are projected to drop until April.
Source: Hua Hin Today