Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Phuket Airport:  in the unlikely event of an outbreak, the island is ready

Phuket Hospitals Ready if Swine Flu Jets In

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
PHUKET's six hospitals were represented yesterday at a meeting with Public Health to coordinate a response to a potential swine flu outbreak on the island.

On Friday, a conference will be held at the Public Health offices in Phuket City from 9am-noon for every department and organisation, public and private, interested in knowing more about the virus.

With the scare now at Pandemic Category 4 on a scale of six, a wait and see approach is being taken worldwide. Germany has confirmed its first case of swine flu, making eight countries now with outbreaks.

The danger is that if someone at Phuket Airport sneezes, the whole Andaman tourism industry could catch cold.

Tourism industry leaders are hoping that the threat of a swine flu outbreak can be mitigated quickly.

Dealing with the consequences of the world economic downturn and Thailand's political unrest is bad enough: a swine flu outbreak would be a ''third strike'' for an industry plagued with more than its share of problems in recent times.

While most people are now aware of the threat, there were no signs of any negative reactions today, with the island low on visitors and slipping into the so-called ''green'' season.

Suchitra Samermit, Chief Operating Officer at Mission Hospital, said they have received information from Public Health about the virus but otherwise there has been no directive or special action.

So far among patients there is little concern, and there has not been any increase of people coming in for flu shots.

A Thai Airways executive said the airline was developing similar preventative and detection measures with swine flu to earlier actions taken during the SARS and avian flu outbreaks.

THAI has one daily flight to the US, between Bangkok and Los Angeles.

Malaysia is reported to have suggested that all travel be banned from Mexico, despite a World Health Organisation statement that said there was no need for any ''restriction of regular travel or closure of borders.''

Such measures, the agency said, would be ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus.

At least 10 countries have banned the import of pork products even though swine flu cannot be caught from eating pork.

Five cruise lines, including the world's two largest, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, said they were immediately stopping all port calls in Mexico.

The International Air Transport Association, an important trade group, took a dour perspective.

''The global economic crisis continues to reduce demand for international air travel, Anything that shakes the confidence of passengers has a negative impact on the business.

''And the timing could not be worse given all of the other economic problems airlines are facing.''

Mexico is now suffering the consequences of being at the epicentre of the virus outbreak, with Europe's Lufthansa revealing that passenger cancellations for flights into Mexico have risen.

Flights leaving Mexico are ''completely full'' as people flee the swine flu outbreak.

''There are a sizable amount of travelers trying to leave Mexico,'' company spokeswoman Jennifer Urbaniak was quoted as saying, the first carrier to offer details on how consumers are reacting.

In Mexico's immediate vicinity, Argentina and Cuba have cancelled flights from Mexico.

The first person to die of swine flu was Maria Adela Gutierrez, a census-taker in the southern tourist city of Oaxaca whose job required her to make door-to-door visits, putting her in contact with at least 300 unsuspecting members of the public when the disease was at its most virulent, Mexican authorities have said.

She was admitted to a local hospital on April 8 and died five days later.

However, the earliest known victim, Edgar Hernandez, aged five, became ill last month in remote La Gloria and recovered after a week, his mother says.

It is unclear how he developed the virus, but the family lives near a pig farm and the area is home to many migrant workers.

Wednesday MediaWATCH: 'Pandemic' Alarm Grows
LatestSwine flu dominates the news as the world reacts to a form of uncertainty that involved health, not wealth. Officials were playing down the dangers while case numbers are rising.
Wednesday MediaWATCH: 'Pandemic' Alarm Grows

In: Swine Flu Scanner. Out: Phuket Air Chief
Latest Phuketwan's Person of the Year, Airport GM Wicha Nurnlop, leaves the island on May 1 with checks for swine flu among his final tasks.
In: Swine Flu Scanner. Out: Phuket Air Chief

Tuesday MediaWATCH: Swine Flu Spreads, No Panic
Latest The world is urged not to panic or stop flying as health officials react to the threat of swine flu. And the hunt continues for fugitive PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
Tuesday MediaWATCH: Swine Flu Spreads, No Panic

Phuket's 'Endless Summer' Summit: April 30
Latest Postponed once because of a street blockade, a vital meeting of resort managers and tourism industry decision makers is set to proceed this week.
Phuket's 'Endless Summer' Summit: April 30


Comments have been disabled for this article.

Friday December 1, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter