Most Covid vaccination centres in Phuket closed

Medical workers and volunteers attend the closing ceremony of a Covid-19 vaccination centre at a gymnasium in Saphan Hin, Phuket on Saturday. (Photo supplied)

Four out of five Covid-19 vaccination centres in Phuket are now closed, with many people on the resort island having already received their doses and demand for vaccines declining.

Phuket vice-governor Phichet Panaphong attended the closing ceremony of a vaccination centre at a gymnasium with a seating capacity of 4,000 people in Saphan Hin on Saturday.

Dr Withita Jangiam, deputy director of Vachira Phuket Hospital and head of the Saphan Hin centre, said its 1,500 staff had administered 600,000 doses since it opened on April 1 last year.

The only operating vaccination centre left on the island is at the X-Terminal Building of Phuket International Airport. In addition to Saphan Hin, three other centres — at Jungceylon shopping centre in Patong district, Angsana Laguna Phuket in Thalang and Phuket Orchid Resort in Muang district — are now closed.

However, Dr Withita said the number of Phuket residents with third and fourth booster shots remained low, and they are encouraged to receive additional shots at their local hospitals or clinics.

Nationwide, 81.5% of the population have now received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, 75.5% at least two shots and 40.3% at least one booster shot, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The number of Covid cases has been declining steadily, with authorities on Saturday reporting 4,488 new cases and 38 more fatalities. The encouraging trend has led authorities to remove a number of restrictions on local residents as well as visitors. The result has been a steady upturn in tourism, which is welcome news for provinces like Phuket where it is the main industry.

Between May 1 and 27, the CCSA reported a total of 490,637 arrivals from overseas, of whom 88,915 were Thais and 401,772 were foreigners. Of the total, 158 Thais and 332 foreigners underwent a five-day quarantine.

The top 10 source countries for arrivals were Singapore with 68,435 visitors, India (58,716), Vietnam (25,273), Malaysia (24,804), Cambodia (21,087), the United States (20,407), the United Kingdom (18,255), Australia (18,077), the United Arab Emirates (14,933) and Germany (13,346).