Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai medic blasts World Health Organisation for face mask U-turn

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

A Thai doctor who specialises in respiratory conditions has slammed the World Health Organisation for doing an about-face on its policy on the use of face masks. Having originally declared there was no evidence cloth masks could help prevent the spread of Covid-19, the organisation is now advocating their use in public.

Dr. Manoon Leechawengwong’s criticism comes as the WHO also withdraws a claim that transmission of the virus by asymptomatic carriers is very rare. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who made the original assertion at a WHO briefing, has now back-pedaled, saying her remarks were a misunderstanding and not representative of WHO policy.

The WHO’s new advice on the wearing of face masks comes after many countries (primarily Asian ones) were already doing so for months. A report in Nation Thailand says it’s not the first time the WHO has disagreed with Thailand on disease prevention. The Thai Public Health Ministry and Infectious Disease Association have previously defended the practice of spraying disinfectant to control the spread of disease, which the WHO opposes, calling it a danger to public health and the environment.

Dr. Manoon recalls an encounter he had with the organisation over 20 years ago, when they criticised his view on testing for drug sensitivity in tuberculosis patients.

“Back in 1997, the World Health Organisation stated that examining tuberculosis drug sensitivity in developing countries is useless and wasteful. I contested that position in 1998, saying Thailand needs to check. Not knowing the patient’s sensitivity to a drug may mean the doctor can’t use it, because otherwise the germ targeted could become more resistant and continue to spread to others. WHO representatives in Thailand at that time said my advice was irresponsible, pulling money from others’ budgets.”

Dr. Manoon went on to conduct his own research to help with tuberculosis treatment in government hospitals, with the WHO eventually changing its policy and recommending all countries carry out drug sensitivity tests before administering treatment. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal slammed the organisation for its original stance.

Now Dr. Manoon is calling for reform at the WHO, saying its members need to be prepared to listen to different viewpoints on disease prevention.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 mins ago

Local hero predicts building collapse, saves countless lives in eastern Thailand

Phuket7 mins ago

9 year old boy kills a 7 year old girl with a police pistol in Phuket

Press Room54 mins ago

Southeast Asia’s sauciest tech event, Techsauce Global Summit to return to Bangkok in physical form

Sponsored5 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Thailand55 mins ago

Thailand & China fighter jets take off on Falcon Strike drills

Pattaya58 mins ago

Fans flock to free entry Pattaya Music Festival held every weekend of August

Road deaths2 hours ago

Innocent woman killed after high-speed race near Bangkok

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime3 hours ago

Police raid Chinese porn studio in Chon Buri, 4 arrested

Bangkok4 hours ago

Blaze at US office near German Embassy in Bangkok

Expats4 hours ago

Aussie man plunges to death from 17th floor of Pattaya hotel

Thailand4 hours ago

More details emerge on Deadly Fire in NightClub | GMT

Chon Buri18 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri18 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand20 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

North East20 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand20 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending