Police in Phuket is working closely with health officials to track people who may have come into contact with a group of potential covid-19 carriers who told police they were in quarantine but were not.
The Phuket Chief of Police, Pol Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri, said that as many as 30 officers have been deployed to track down the people who skipped quarantine and to also find anyone who came into contact with that group as they may be at risk of having the virus.
Authorities on the southern island became aware of a group of people who were supposed to be in a 14-day self-quarantine but continued to visit others outside of their homes during the isolation period.
The Police Chief was surprised at how the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has continued to rise despite there being a strict lockdown in place across the island.
Many of the recent cases in Phuket have been as a result of close contact with someone who was known to have the coronavirus, prompting Pol Maj Gen Rungrote to conclude that many people had not been obeying quarantine rules. He said:
“Even though they were advised to [self-isolate] at home for 14 days, their lack of honesty could worsen the situation. They could have easily spread the virus to other people.”
“So, the best way is to bring these people under quarantine to ensure they will receive proper medical care and treatment. This problem [lack of honesty] needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.”
He continued to say that police would “use the principles of investigation” when trying to identify potential carriers of covid-19, and that they “know how to make these suspects tell the truth and get information from them quickly.”
He suspected that many people did not tell the truth about their condition or history because they were embarrassed or, in the case of foreigners, afraid of deportation.
There are currently 12 hospitals across Phuket that are designated as quarantine facilities.
Source: Bangkok Post