Pattaya’s Koh Larn island shuts itself off to world to battle Covid-19

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Volunteers spray disinfectant in areas frequented by visitors before the shutdown.
Volunteers spray disinfectant in areas frequented by visitors before the shutdown.

Having closed off their island to outsiders for at least three weeks, residents of Koh Larn marched through their neighborhoods looking for locals stricken with Covid-19.



Koh Larn Community President Boonched Boonying, neighborhood leaders and personnel from Koh Larn Medical Center manned coronavirus screening stations at the island’s two piers to check residents returning from the mainland for fever or other symptoms of the deadly virus.

Medical volunteers check on families living on the island, screening them for coronavirus.
Medical volunteers check on families living on the island, screening them for coronavirus.

The 44 people then paraded through Koh Larn’s streets, checking on many of the 1,200 families living there, screening them for disease and providing information on the procedures the island’s leaders plan to take to make sure Covid-19 stays in Pattaya and not on their island.

Volunteers will check anyone returning to Koh Larn, keep daily logs of those traveling and report anyone with symptoms to Pattaya authorities and have them removed from the island. Those having been in high-risk areas on the mainland will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

While residents say their businesses will be crippled by the March 28-April 28 shutdown, they are taking solace in the hope they can remain an island of safety amid a spreading pandemic.

People parade through Koh Larn’s streets, providing information on COVID-19.
People parade through Koh Larn’s streets, providing information on COVID-19.

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Once bustling with tourists, Koh Larn’s beaches are now empty.
Once bustling with tourists, Koh Larn’s beaches are now empty.