Phuket’s worker camps targetted in COVID crackdown

Construction News
Workers camps across Phuket are being taregtted to contain any spread of COVID-19. Photo: PR Phuket

Phuket’s worker camps targetted in COVID crackdown

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew inspected workers’ camps across the island yesterday (July 28) to see the disease control measures in effect at each camp following 13 workers at a camp in Patong testing positive, prompting officials to place the camp under one-month ‘Bubble and Seal’ isolation.

Joining Governor Narong to inspect a workers camp on site at a waterpark under construction in Kathu were Kathu District Chief Trithip Sakulpradit and officers from the Office of Disease Prevention and Control Region 11, based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, reported the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).

Wanna Sangtuang, the company staffer responsible for managing the camp, told officials that there are 450 workers currently staying on site, including Myanmar nationals and Cambodians.

The PR Phuket report did not name the waterpark under construction, yet the contractor was identified as JWS Construction, which is building what it calls the ’Vana Nava Water Park’ as part of the Andamanda Phuket project.

Andamanda Phuket is being built as part of the B20 billion ‘Blu Pearl The Pride of Phuket’mega-project by the Mall Group, comprising a hotel, shopping mall and commercial property located on 150 rai along Phra Phuket Kaew Rd in Kathu.

“We have strict measures to take care of our workers. Before coming and leaving the camp, all workers must have their temperature checked. They need to wear a face mask at all times while working,” Ms Wanna said.

“In the camp, we also manage the space clearly by separating bathing areas, toilets and living areas, so we are pretty confident about hygiene,” Ms Wanna continued.

“Almost 100% of workers in this camp have been fully vaccinated,” she added.

Governor Narong said that provincial officials were paying particular attention to workers’ camps on the island, especially in terms of having workers vaccinated to create ‘herd immunity’ among workers.

“From inspections of many camps, we have seen that each camp has only one entrance and exit, so it’s quite easy to control the movement of workers. They also buy their food and other items from nearby shops and vendors,” Governor Narong said.

“Right now, I have ordered all camp managers to set up stricter measures for their workers and apply the same system that SHA managers use at hotels, so that managers can quickly contact immigration, the Phuket Employment Office and other officials [if the need arises].

“We will set [enforcement] standards and evaluate each camp, so we can use the camps with high scores as role models for other camps. We will also create a better information system about migrant workers in Phuket,” he added.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s live broadcast, Ubon Chuaiphat, Chief of the Phuket Employment Office, explained that there are 26,764 migrant workers currently registered as employed in Phuket’s construction industry under the management of 2,102 employers.

“There are 868 worker camps in the three districts [across Phuket]. Of those, 32 camps are considered big camps with more than 100 workers living on site, 102 camps are medium-sized, and 734 camps are considered small,” Ms Ubon said.

Pracha Asawathira, Manager of the DEPA office in Phuket, yesterday detailed the number of migrant workers in Phuket who have received COVID vaccination injections.

“Since we started providing vaccines to migrant workers, among those who are 18-64 years old, 35,168 have received their first injection, and 18,115 have received the second injection,” he said.

“For those who are older than 65 years old, 26 have received their first injection and 10 have received the second injection,” Mr Pracha said.