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The first Delta infection on Phuket confirmed, after which the island decides to close all schools for 2 weeks


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The first Delta infection on Phuket confirmed, after which the island decides to close all schools for 2 weeks

The first case of the Delta variant on Phuket has been confirmed, the province has decided to close all schools until July 23 from tomorrow.

Dr Koosak Kookiattikul, head of Phuket’s public health agency, said the province had found the first patient infected with the Covid19 Delta strain, the strain first discovered in India. The strain analysis has been confirmed by the medical-scientific centre.

He said the patient, a foreign businessman living in the province, is believed to have contracted the virus from a visitor from Bangkok. The patient’s contacts are quarantined.

Ten Covid19 infections have been reported, the highest number in days, raising concern. Most of the patients were Thai citizens from other provinces.

According to Dr Kookiattikul, three variants of Covid19 have been reported in the province and most are the Alpha variant, which was first discovered in the UK. Six cases were found to be the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa, and one is the Delta variant.

He said it will take two weeks for the result of a strain analysis of an infected tourist under the Phuket Sandbox tourism program to be available.

The tourist, who comes from the United Arab Emirates, arrived on Tuesday in a tour group on the southern island and was found to be infected with Covid19.

He said 13 tourists in the same group had “decided” to fly back last night, while another opted for the alternative local quarantine facility.

The school closure order was shared by the Phuket COVID-19 centre on its Facebook. By order of the province, all schools must close from July 12 to 23 and switch to online classes.

The two-week shutdown follows a meeting of the Provincial Control Commission on Infectious Diseases, which raised concerns about a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients under the age of 18.

The school closure was proposed out of concerns about the creation of school clusters where people under the age of 18 are not vaccinated and unable to fully comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Students under the age of 18 who have not been vaccinated must present a student card issued by their school upon entering the county and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. The committee also discussed tightening up the screening process for local visitors.

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