Ebola security on Phuket

Ebola security on Phuket is beefing up with Vachira Phuket Hospital opening the first Designated Receiving Area (DRA) in Southern Thailand in response to the recent Ebola outbreak worldwide and the increasing number of visitors to the island. The DRA is a laboratory fully equipped to quickly and accurately diagnose patients who show symptoms of highly infectious diseases, such as the Ebola virus.

Dr. Wanchai cited Phuket’s popularity as a tourist destination as the reason for it becoming the first southern province to open a DRA. According to statistical data from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, an average of 10 million tourists come to the island each year, he said, adding that this year’s Asian Beach Games alone has attracted visitors from more than 45 countries.

The establishment of DRAs throughout Thailand was ordered by the Ministry of Public Health, said Dr Wanchai. By the end of this year, there will be 20 centers throughout the country. In 2015, there should be a DRA in every one of Thailand’s 77 provinces, as well as smaller laboratories at each airport, Dr. Wanchai said. Phuket is the third province to establish a DRA. The first two were set up in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. phuketgazette.net

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