The proactive testing and vaccination campaign in Yala is contributing to the improving COVID-19 situation in the southern province. Many community isolation centers for patients are now planning to shut down after most of the patients have already recovered, while the number of new cases continues to decline.
A community isolation center at Thetsaban 5 (Ban Talat Kao) School in Yala city municipality, which has served 539 COVID-19 patients since its opening on 10 September, now only has 4 patients left after the discharge of 9 patients yesterday.
Staff members at this isolation center said they planned to close down this facility after discharging all remaining patients this month. This school-converted facility will be deep cleaned before allowing the school to arrange in-person classes for students.
Although the overall COVID-19 situation in Yala has started to deescalate, the southern border province remains classified as one of the 6 dark-red provinces under strict and highest COVID-19 control measures. Nighttime curfew is still enforced from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Health officials in Yala will continue to proactively provide COVID-19 vaccine to the local population, as the vaccination rate in the province is still around 60%.
At Khun Wai checkpoint located at Yala-Pattani provincial border, police and health officials are still conducting stringent screening for any person entering Yala province, including antigen tests for at-risk populations.
Currently, public members in the area are asked to avoid unnecessary travel, while anyone entering the province is required to have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated persons entering Yala by land now have the option of getting vaccinated right at the checkpoint.
Yala Governor Pirom Nilthaya said the province is planning to reopen Betong district for tourism on 1 December, provided the local vaccination uptake reaches a set target.
He said this reopening will benefit the villagers, adding that New Year celebrations could be held in all Yala districts if the general public cooperates well with the preventative measures.
The province is also preparing for the reopening of the Thailand-Malaysia border, and hoping the province will be removed from the dark-red list in the near future. (NNT)