PHUKET: Officials yesterday (Oct 14) confirmed that the upcoming Phuket Vegetarian Festival will be held under new normal conditions and strict controls are to be adhered to in regards to the quality of food distributed at the event.
Present at the radio interview, which takes place every Wednesday, were Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana and Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol.
Mayor Somjai explained that Phuket is an island and there is not much land for agriculture, so we have to import most of the ingredients and vegetables. Phuket City Municipality normally sends some officers from the Department of Public Health and Environment to randomly check the contaminants in foods and ingredients.
“During the festival, the municipality will coordinate with the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) to send officers to check the quality of ingredients and cooking process at each shrine and food stalls,” Mayor Somjai explained.
“Officers will also give advice to those cooking the food and the sellers to ensure nothing improper is found, especially in cooking oils, as most vegetarian foods in the festival are fried foods.
“All ceremonies will be under the new normal measures. Those who join the ceremony in the shrines will have to wear face masks, maintain social distance standards between one another, wash hands as often as possible, and avoid unnecessarily crowded areas as much as possible.
“Selling firecrackers is prohibited, except for those used as part of the ceremony. All shrines are asked to not have children to join in any ceremony,” Mayor Somjai added.
Dr Chalermpong explained that medical officers have worked extremely to ensure no second wave outbreak of the virus.
“Following the meeting of the communicable committee, we all agreed that there must be limitations for the number of people joining each ceremony,” Dr Chalermpong said.
“Masong must try to limit the level of torturing they endure and display and people must wear face masks at all times,” he added.
Dr Chalermpong further explained that overseas tourists will not be permitted until Oct 26 which is after the festival and therefore there is no need for concern among local residents or those attending from nearby surrounding provinces.
“Foreign tourists will arrive on Oct 26 and will have to quarantine in a hotel so local people do not need to be worried. We have prepared all of the safety processes,” he said.