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Omicron Covid-19 Fears Keeping Many Tourist Away from Pattaya

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A recent surge in Omicron cases threatens the livelihoods of sunbed and umbrella operators at Pattaya beach. Tourism numbers are down because visitors are avoiding the resort city due to fears of Omicron.

Mr. Somchai Jainukul, chairman of the umbrella and sunbed operators’ club in Pattaya, said that tourists are hesitant to spend their holidays in Pattaya even though service providers strictly adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures by cleaning and using the disinfectant spray.

Weekends are usually when Thai tourists flock to Pattaya because it is only 140km from Bangkok. Recently, the number of visitors has dwindled by about 10% of what it used to be.

Omicron shuttered Pattaya Music Festival

Adding insult to injury, the provincial disease control committee ordered the postponement of the Pattaya Music Festival, which was planned every week throughout March, Mr. Somchai said.

The panel announced that the Music festival would be postponed until further notice. Consequently, many local operators are now anxiously awaiting tourism to rebound, he said.

On Saturday, Chon Buri reported 1,310 new Omicron cases of Covid-19 and two deaths. According to the provincial public relations office, Si Racha district had the newest Omicron cases at 458, followed by Bang Lamung with 316 and Muang district with 22.

Meanwhile, Somsak Ankasil, director-general of the Department of Medical Services, said the rise in Omicron Covid-19 infections was causing concern about the public health system and beds.

Anutin Charnvirakul, Minister of Public Health, has instructed the Health Department to work with other agencies to effectively manage the beds.

About 60% of the country’s 180,000 hospital beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients, Dr. Somsak said.

Omicron Surge Nationwide

According to Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), 50% of all hospital beds for Covid-19 patients were filled.

During an interview with Dr. Somsak, he said children and people in the workforce were most commonly infected with Covid-19. Over 90% of infected people had mild symptoms of Omicron, and 50% were asymptomatic.

Elderly patients and those in fragile groups, such as patients with chronic diseases or bedridden patients who caught the virus from others, were most likely to succumb to Covid-19.

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