Daily Phuket #73: 18 August 2021 – COVID Care Center

With the continuing rise in local infections on the island, several “COVID-19 Care Centers” have been established on Phuket. The largest occupies the former Provincial Prison just a short walk to the north of my home in Phuket Town. The inmates in the infamously overcrowded and deteriorating facility were relocated to a new prison earlier this year. Where previously you were allowed to home-quarantine, you will now be detained in one of these centers if you test positive from one of the rapid antigen kits without showing symptoms.

A lot of people here think that is downright crazy. I certainly would not want to be locked up here for a day, much less two weeks. I visited someone who was incarcerated there some years ago and even the waiting room was a vile place with rats running around. I doubt they cleaned it before moving these asymptomatic sufferers there as the decision was made very quickly about a week ago. It is already nearing its capacity of 500 detainees. The last time I saw figures on the overcrowding of prisoners there it was in the thousands. This has officials scrambling to establish more “COVID-19 Care Centers” with the latest one in the nearby carpark of Phuket Provincial Hall.

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