The Thaiger recently reported that some bars and clubs in Koh Samui continue to operate seemingly indifferent to Covid-19 restrictions in place without any masks or social distancing and during periods that nightlife was shut down nationally. Now the freedom from regulation on the island has come back to bite as 16 Covid-19 infections were found traced to one of the biggest clubs that has remained open. Authorities have put out an urgent plea for anyone who has attended the Black Bamboo Club in Chaweng between 16 and 26 July to report for Covid-19 testing immediately as they are at risk of exposure to the virus.
Remaining largely unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of the number of infections found on the island, the effects of the closure of international travel and the sharp decline in tourism have been devastating to the tourist-based economy on Koh Samui. The holiday island has often benefited from the isolation of being separated from the mainland and largely avoided regulation.
Now the Samui Plus programme has focused on reopening the island and welcoming back international tourism but has hit a snag as infections grow nationally causing the island’s government to implement stricter regulations upon arrival to Samui and now possibly its first significant outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. Since the July 15 reopening, only 72 people, including 8 today, have travelled to Koh Samui internationally with 2 having been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The Black Bamboo Club, which has been seen to be open without mask-wearing, social distancing, or any visible restriction had been advertising as recently as Friday for party events on their Facebook page featuring music and DJs, seemingly impervious to national closure orders for nightclubs and evening entertainment venues.
Authorities were quick to spring into action putting out a notice for anyone who may have attended the Black Bamboo Club between July 16 and July 26 urgently requesting them to be tested for Covid-19. Free rapid test screening has been set up today at Sala Pru Chaweng, the pavilion area of Chaweng Lake that often host night markets, across from Central Festival. The free screenings was from 1 to 3 pm today.
Some unconfirmed details report that the Covid-19 infection was most likely spread at The Black Bamboo Club on July 16, 17, and 23 between 10:30 pm and 1:30 am. A warning also went out for customers of Speedy Lounge and Bar in Lamai who may have been exposed on July 16 between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm.
The government also requests that anybody who has been to Black Bamboo Club or been in contact with anyone who had been to the club closely monitor themselves and their health for any symptoms of Covid-19 and urge them to get tested. With the recent reopening, health authorities hope to quickly contain this outbreak and allow Koh Samui to continue to welcome international travellers.
SOURCE: Koh Samui Municipal Government
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