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Thailand celebrity gets a month in jail for Covid-19 cluster birthday party at Bangkok hotel

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

A Thailand celebrity was sentenced to jail for charges relating to his birthday party last month that became a notorious Covid-19 cluster. The South Bangkok District Court sentenced Techin Ploypetch, known as DJ Matoom, to 2 months in jail with a fine of 20,000 baht for violating the Emergency Decree which banned social gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The DJ pled guilty and the court cut his sentence in half to a month in jail and a 10,000 baht fine. The court also suspended his sentence for a year.

DJ Matoom held his 31st birthday party at a rooftop bar at Bangkok’s Banyan Tree Hotel on January 8 where people were drinking alcohol and not abiding by disease control practices like wearing face masks and social distancing. During this time, bars in Bangkok were closed and restaurants were prohibited from serving alcohol in an effort to limit gatherings and prevent the spread of Covid-19. The celebrity tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after his party.

Doctors reviewed the DJ Matoom’s travel history and say they believe he caught the virus at a New Years party in Chiang Mai, another Covid-19 cluster. Doctors say they believe a man who attended both the News Years party in Chiang Mai and the celebrity’s party in Bangkok spread the virus at both events.

30 people who tested positive for Covid-19 attended the New Years party in Chiang Mai, and 9 of them also went to the celebrity’s birthday party. People who attended the birthday party will also face criminal charges, according to police.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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