Thailand’s Resort Island of Phuket Now Its Coronavirus Hotspot

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Phuket, normally one of the world’s most-visited resort islands, is now Thailand’s novel coronavirus hotspot with the highest density of cases among the country’s 77 provinces.

There are nearly 34 infections for every 100,000 people in Phuket, compared to Bangkok’s rate of 21.6, according to the nation’s Health Ministry. The island province has confirmed 140 total cases.

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Officials are carrying out “active case-finding” through more testing on Phuket, Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 center, said in a briefing Wednesday. Government figures show that about 72,000 tests have been done across the country so far.

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Phuket has a population of more than 400,000, as well as contingents of tourists and migrant workers. It’s been locked down since the end of March to fight the virus, with almost all access by land, sea and air restricted. Bangkok -- Thailand’s most populous city -- has more cases in total, 1,223, if not per capita.

Overall confirmed cases in Thailand rose by 111 on Wednesday to 2,369, with three additional deaths reported, taking fatalities to 30. The outbreak has put Phuket and the rest of the Thai economy on course for a deep contraction this year as tourism and exports stall.

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