Prachuap Province proving a success at fighting 3rd wave


April 2nd was the day that Hua Hin hospital confirmed the discovery of the city’s 9th Covid-19 infection, the local community wondered if it was an isolated case. Then it emerged that the infected person worked at The Crystal Pub in Bangkok, already cited as the site of a ’superspreader’ event and mentioned daily in newsreels, a worrying revelation. She had travelled to Hua Hin to visit family with her boyfriend, he soon became case No 10, and whilst here went they to the Maya Pub with a group of friends, and also visited many locations across the municipality, fears grew. Our expectations were soon confirmed and local infection numbers started to grow much more quickly than at any time during 2020, the dreaded 3rd wave was upon us.

The new outbreak was occurring just before the long Songkran holiday and local businesses feared the worst, however Hua Hin/Cha-am Tourism Business Association was quick to point out that quarantine measures only applied to people that had been in certain infected locations, others were free to come from Bangkok, many of us were sceptical. Whether fear of catching the virus in Hua Hin, or fear of being asked to quarantine was the reason, 30% of hotel bookings were cancelled, (a much lower cancellation rate than suffered across Thailand).

It must be said that both the Governor and Prachuap Public Health in general stood up to be counted and set about their business to minimise disruption, and get the region back on track as soon as humanly possible.

They started issuing regular and precise information about new infections, their source, and the locations in the region they had visited, they made their instructions clear that anyone that had been in these locations should get tested and/or self-quarantine if they had any symptoms. Any relatives or friends that had come into contact with an infected person MUST self-quarantine for 14 days. They also strongly advised people not visit busy or risky locations unless absolutely necessary.

As the end of the month draws near we can say that the measures and restrictions appear to have paid dividend and the end of the 3rd wave in the PRACHUAP PROVINCE PROVING A SUCCESS AT FIGHTING 3rd WAVE region looks close. Infection numbers are falling daily and are on course to be totally eradicated soon. Success is being achieved across Thailand but generally speaking our region is outperforming most of the others and for that we should all be grateful.

Restrictions look likely to be lifted soon and those that choose to can return to a near normal life, socialising will again be allowed and business owners can hopefully begin paying off their debts and looking forward to a rosier future. Vaccination rollout is slow and disappointing so we cannot allow our guard to slip and must keep practising the essentials of washing hands, wearing a mask and keeping a distance. New initiatives like SHA and SHA Plus, sanitary safety standards, are being strictly introduced across hospitality and service providers.

This should make any new outbreak less likely and more controllable if it should occur before vaccinations can become more effectively used. Acknowledging that the government is in the process of acquiring 100 million vaccine doses to inoculate 70% of the population, Project ‘Re-charge’ was presented to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, on his recent visit to Hua Hin. The project is a joint venture between government, private agencies and TAT and its goal is to vaccinate everyone in the region and fully reopen on October 1st