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Anutin criticises ‘careless’ health personnel, apologises again

Anutin criticises ‘careless’ health personnel, apologises again

THAILAND: Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has criticised medical personnel infected with the coronavirus, drawing anger in social media until he apologised.

CoronavirusCOVID-19health
By Bangkok Post

Friday 27 March 2020, 07:51AM


Public Health Minister Aunti Charnvirakul attacks health personnel and then apologises. Photo: Bangkok Post file photo

Public Health Minister Aunti Charnvirakul attacks health personnel and then apologises. Photo: Bangkok Post file photo

The Bhumjaithai Party leader told reporters no health personnel caught the virus while on duty.

“As far as I know from a report, no doctor has been infected while they were treating COVID-19 patients,” he said, when asked about the ministry’s measures to better protect medical personnel.

“We’re not happy with some health personnel who do not take good care of themselves. They should have set an example for others,” he said.

The ministry reported earlier at least 11 health personnel were among the new infections.

People reacted to his controversial remark on social media, making the “anutin” hashtag top-trending on Twitter. “Thank you for your advice,” one wrote on her Twitter account.

The minister later came out to apologise. In an online video clip, he said he was under pressure and had not carefully listened to the question from reporters.

“I have no intention to criticise anybody. I admire all of them,” he said.

One Twitter account wrote after his video appearance: “Too late though. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Mr Anutin was no stranger to controversial remarks.

In February, he apologised to the public for saying that a group of foreigners should be “kicked out of Thailand” for refusing to wear face masks. (See story here).

He shut down his Facebook account on March 4 after posting a message that said all visitors from certain countries would face mandatory self-quarantine for two weeks when the announcement had not yet been made. He later claimed it was not him who posted the message.

The minister later returned on March 12 with the @anutin_c Twitter account which was also closed later after he wrote the western tourists he saw during a visit to Chiang Mai were dirty.

Mr Anutin was seen as being sidelined after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared the state of emergency effective yesterday (Mar 26). Under the structure of the new committee handling the coronavirus crisis, Gen Prayut has full authority to handle the situation. While related ministers are on the committee, it is permanent-secretaries who were appointed chiefs of the operations to take orders directly from Gen Prayut.

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Christy Sweet | 27 March 2020 - 21:34:39

Hurrah for Villa Market selling 4 paper masks for 10 baht, whereas Tesco -  one cloth  mask for 49 baht. 

Christy Sweet | 27 March 2020 - 11:55:12

Wearing masks is effective, that's why health care professionals need them more than the public. 
Do not confuse shortages with advice they do not work meant to stop hoarders. 

malczx7r | 27 March 2020 - 10:23:14

He's probably in charge of road safety too, comes up with the same failed idea every year in the hope that one year it actually works!! 

Shwe | 27 March 2020 - 09:37:04

I see he is not wearing one of his cheap ineffective masks, not just dirty farang then stupid man

Kurt | 27 March 2020 - 09:27:42

Anutin saw during a ChiangMai visit western tourist were dirty.? Well, what he expects in worlds most smog polluted area with deadly high PM2.5 levels. Also right this very moment. How to remain clean in ChiangMai? Anutin should start to clear up ChiangMai Province, with 'full force of the law', if he dares with his big mouth.

DeKaaskopp | 27 March 2020 - 08:39:27

He talks too much ! 

Shwe | 27 March 2020 - 08:38:12

the man is a moron, not fit for purpose.  He should be sacked, not much hope of that. If being a moron can get you sacked we will need another election

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