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Thai Health Minister apologises for his comments that ‘farang’ should be kicked out

The Thaiger

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Thai Health Minister apologises for his comments that ‘farang’ should be kicked out | The Thaiger
SCREENGRAB: Twitter - Saksith Saiyasombut
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UPDATE: The Thai Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has had a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease since this morning, after being panned in social media for his comments at a government PR gathering to promote the wearing of face-masks following the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The minister has apologised for his earlier comments about ‘farang’ , when he said that they “should be kicked out” for not wearing face-masks. The outspoken minister posted on his Facebook page an apology for his racially-charged remarks. He blamed his outburst… “on ill manners displayed by some foreigners”.

(Full video of the minister’s comments below)

“I’m sorry for losing my temper to foreigners today. I couldn’t tell where the foreigners came from or how much risk they pose.”

Anutin said that he, his entourage and the Bangkok media “experienced’ some bad responses from “farang” when offering free paper face-masks at the busy Siam BTS this morning.

“We expected respect and cooperation in mitigating the outbreak from them, not slapping our hands away or looking at us in a demeaning way.

Earlier story today….

Thailand’s mercurial Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has slammed foreign tourists who aren’t wearing face masks, or refuse to wear them when offered a free one offered by the government, says they “should be kicked out.” He was handing out government freebies this morning at the Siam BTS station as part of the Thai government’s education about coronavirus.

“They don’t care about the big picture. They don’t have any consideration to the situation.”

At a door-stop interview with the Bangkok media this morning, the minister also insisted “non-compliant behaviours of foreigners should be reported to embassies”.

“All farangs, those tourists… that’s something the embassies should be notified about and the public as well that are not wearing masks.”

Anutin’s use of the term ‘farang’ is often associated in a derogatory sense when referring to foreigners. The term can also refers simply to caucasian foreigners but the Minister’s scorn for “farang’ was evident this morning as waved some of the free face-masks around whilst making his point.

“We’re handing them out and they still refuse. They need to be kicked out of Thailand!”

The Government PR stunt at the Siam BTS, one of the busiest public transport terminals where two BTS lines meet together, was hosted by Minister Anutin who spent his time handing out free surgical masks to travellers using the ‘Skytrain’. He said that the masks will help people to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

Some foreign tourists didn’t take them, which led to the Minister’s outburst by him suggesting they “should be kicked out.”

“They don’t care about the big picture and these tourists are in the country. We’re giving the masks to them and they still refuse.”

“The Chinese, the Asians… they are all taking the masks, but those Europeans… that’s unbelievable.”

Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices. Furthermore, using a mask incorrectly may hamper its effectiveness to reduce the risk of transmission – World Health Organisation

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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1 Comment

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  1. Avatar

    HTrevorC

    February 7, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    “create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices” – exactly.. viruses are 0.3 micron.. masks MAY filter as small as 2.5 micron… but frequent removal and replacement absolutely negates their effectiveness and actually may increase the chance to get infected

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket

Greeley Pulitzer

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6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

Phuket island officials have reported 6 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus as of today (Sunday, March 29), bringing the total to 53 on the southern island. The details as known at time of publication are…

  • Case 48: A 42 year old Thai woman, a gift shop owner in Patong.
  • Case 49: A 32 year old Ukrainian woman who runs a health clinic in Karon.
  • Case: 50: A 27 year old Thai woman who has had close contact with foreigners.
  • Case 51: A 37 year old Thai man, a bouncer in Patong’s Bangla Road.
  • Case 52: A 36 year old Thai woman, a massuese in Patong.
  • Case 53: A 22 year old Thai woman who had close contact with another confirmed case, in Patong’s Bangla Road.

Since January 5, 944 people in Phuket have gone to hospital for testing. Of those 794 have tested negative and were sent home.

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

 

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Newshawk Phuket

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Handful of Thais catch last flight back to Thailand from Singapore

Greeley Pulitzer

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Handful of Thais catch last flight back to Thailand from Singapore | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Business Insider

Flights are thin on the ground now and very few regional carriers are still in the air. Singapore Airlines Flight 972 was the last scheduled service to Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Passengers, only a few dozen, mostly Thais fleeing back home to ride out the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, flew out of Singapore’s Changi Airport yesterday.

Airlines worldwide are cutting flights and grounding planes due to the global outbreak, which at 11:30am (Thai time today) had infected more than 664,000 and killed more than 30,000 people. Thailand has reported 6 deaths to date, Singapore 2.

The Thai passengers’ desperation was evident. One 66 year old woman, who had been in Singapore taking care of her niece, told reporters: “If I die, I want to die in my country.”

Thailand declared a nationwide state of emergency on Thursday banning all foreigners from entering the Kingdom, and placed complicated requirements for Thais to have a health certificate, not older than 72 hour, and proof of residence before being declared ‘fit to fly’..

Singapore’s Changi Airport was reported to be almost empty yesterday with only one check-in counter open. Nearly all passengers wore facemasks, and many wore gloves.

One passenger said she was afraid if she didn’t get back to Thailand she might be stranded. 33 year old Ammara Viparsinon said she was shocked at the ticket price of 600 Singapore dollars (about 13,600 baht), about double what a flight would normally would cost. But she felt there was no choice, as any other route would involve long connections and layovers, and be even more expensive.

“The risk is too high, so I’d rather take this last direct flight.”

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Drug party raided in Chiang Rai for defying public gathering ban

Greeley Pulitzer

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Drug party raided in Chiang Rai for defying public gathering ban | The Thaiger
PHOTO: thaivisa

Authorities are cracking down and enforcing the ban on on public gatherings under the the state of emergency declared to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic last week. 22 people were arrested at a drug party in Chiang Rai yesterday for “gathering in defiance of the Emergency Decree”. 10 men and 12 women between the ages of 20 and 30 were nabbed at a hotel in the province’s main city district.

(Gamblers also arrested in Phuket, below)

The 22 were attending a pool party where alcohol and drugs such as ecstasy and ketamine were allegedly being sold. Police confiscated 237,000 baht in cash found in a bag, along with illicit drugs for evidence.

An initial investigation showed that a 24 year old man from Trat province in Thailand’s east, on the Cambodian border, had been holding parties at the hotel since last Thursday. It’s believed he started holding the parties because most public venues are unavailable during the virus scare.

Chiang Rai’s governor says police raided the hotel in tambon Tha Sut after a tip-off.

Apart from drug charges, the detainees will also be punished for defying the Emergency Decree, which bans gatherings. The penalty is two years in prison and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht. Chiang Rai has 5 confirmed coronavirus cases.

In a related development, 6 gamblers were arrested in Phuket near the island’s Muang district yesterday.

The detainees were identified as 51 year old Natthawut, 55 year old Suwit, 40 year old Charoon, 48 year old Praiwan, 28 year old Natthapol and 39 year old Natthapong. No surnames were added to the report. Police say that while some were wearing masks to potentially protect themselves from the coronavirus, they were violating the Emergency Decree by sitting around a table to play the games. Gambling is officially illegal in Thailand, apart from the bi-monthly lottery.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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