Do as I say, not as I do…
Thailand’s Public Health Minister has been caught without a face mask while sitting next to a Cabinet minister who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. Anutin Charnvirakul, previously considered an enthusiastic proponent of mask-wearing, sat next to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob while attending a merit-making event on Tuesday. Saksayam tested positive for Covid-19 the next day.
The spotlight has been on Anutin since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year and perhaps never more so than when the outspoken minister was targeting, “dirty farang”. When a confused foreign tourist refused the free face masks he was handing out as part of a PR stunt in Bangkok, it prompted a tirade of xenophobic abuse. While mildly amusing – or bemusing – at the time, many blame it for sparking a disturbing backlash against foreign residents and tourists in the Kingdom.
“Many farang dress dirty and don’t shower. As hosts we have to be very careful.” – Anutin Charnvirakul on Twitter last year.
Now a photo that appears in a Nation Thailand report shows a barefaced Health Minister sitting next to Saksayam (who is wearing a mask). A number of Cabinet ministers have begun self-isolating as a result of the Transport Minister’s positive diagnosis.
It is not the first time Anutin has forgotten to wear a face mask. In July of last year, he was forced to apologise for removing his mask while attending an event at the US Embassy in Bangkok.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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