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Bangla closes for Big Cleaning Day


PHUKET: Many businesses along Patong’s famed nightlife street Bangla Rd will remain closed tonight after intensive cleaning conducted earlier today (Jan 6) to help counter the spread of COVID-19 infections in the area.

Patong Municipality this morning deployed two fire trucks to hose down the street with sanitiser, after which staffers moved in to cleanse their respective establishments.

The “Big Cleaning Day” was called by Weerawit Krueasombat, President of the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), after it became known that at least 11 staffers working at venues along Bangla Rd had been confirmed as infected with Omicron.

The Big Cleaning Day is hoped to prevent more infections in the area, and has served as focal point of solidarity among nightlife venue owners on the street in their fight to keep COVID-19 out of their area.

Businesses were asked to close for 24 hours to allow the Big Cleaning Day to be carried out.

Meanwhile, free ATK testing was provided nearby for all staffers taking part in the cleaning.

“This is to build confidence for the people of Patong and tourists. It is usually done on a regular basis, but this one is especially because there have been more infections in the area and that Soi Bangla is a major tourist attraction in the Patong area,” Mr Weerawit said.

There are many tourists who come to use the service, so it is normal to see more infected people than before. After the New Year holidays and have a party Drink and eat according to the measures prescribed.

“The PEBA members agree that In order for us to move forward without interruption, we must work together to fight the coronavirus, and move forward in parallel with the measures of the province and the government,” he said.

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“Therefore, together we have closed for service for one day to clean the area, spray disinfectant and provide ATK test kits to screen for infection among Bangla residents [sic] in order to speed up the search and identify those infected to prevent infections from spreading further,” he said.

“However, we do not want the public to panic over the rising number of infections found because all of them were found through proactive screening,” Mr Weerawit said.

“We would like all parties to have confidence that we will move forward under strict disease control measures. And nowadays, there is a regular detection of infection with ATK testing, which if any venue finds more than two cases, the venue will be closed for three days for cleaning,” he said.

“This is considered to be a measure and to build confidence and build a good image for Patong,” he added.

The Big Cleaning Day comes as Dr Kiatipoom Wongrachit, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in Phuket this morning delivered a stern warning that any pub or restaurant found lacking in upholding COVID-prevention requirements where a person is later confirmed as infected with COVId-19 would face legal action.

It also comes as Phuket health officials reported 227 new COVID cases on the island, at this stage presumed to be nearly all Omicron, up from 43 just over a week ago.

 





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