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Netizens demand Minister of Public Health to resign after Covid surge




Today, Thai netizens are demanding the resignation of Thailand’s Minister of Public Health after the largest daily amount of Covid infections is being reported in Samut Sakhon Province.

That number of infections, reported today, is now up to 576, 516 of which includes migrant workers who have been in the news recently after several were found to have entered Thailand illegally from Myanmar, skirting mandatory quarantine requirements. The number is seen as alarming, after Thailand has had little to no infections in recent months. Furthermore, the kingdom has only reported about 4,000 cases since the pandemic began.

The highest number of cases, in one day, in the past, was 188 on March 22.

Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Public Health minister is now being blamed, despite months of having no new locally-transmitted cases reported. The hashtag #ถอดถอนอนุทิน (Remove Anutin) started trending early this morning and has received over 254,000 mentions so far.

While many pointed to a few anti-foreign faux pas and premature statements he has made in the past, including a statement yesterday in which he blamed the outbreak on migrant workers coming illegally into Thailand, the minister has been targeted by anti-government protesters for months.

Such netizens have blamed Anutin for bringing his Bhumjai Thai Party into the ruling coalition with the military-backed Palang Pracharath Party. Some netizens have even posted of his expected demise by putting his picture next to the words, “the beginning” and “the end”.

Samut Sakhon Province was hit by a surge in Covid cases, with the number now reaching 576. The spike in cases is thought to be due to migrant workers illegally returning to Thailand from Myanmar and skirting quarantine requirements, moving to Samut Sakhon, neighbouring Bangkok. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and surrouding areas were affected first as many Thais returned from border towns in those areas and were subsequently found to be infected with Covid after returning from the town of Tachileik, where they reportedly worked in the sex and leisure industry at a venue posing as a hotel.

After the ‘hotel’ saw an outbreak in Covid infections, the workers were jobless as it closed down. Having nowhere to go, the workers re-entered Thailand despite the government not allowing legal border crossings due to Myanmar being heavily hit by the Covid pandemic.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer


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  1. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    It looks like the myth really has been busted…….now reality needs to quickly take hold and action be taken before Thailand joins all the other nations trying to suppress the virus. It is not time for sticky your head in the sand!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      What “myth” is that?

      • Avatar

        John Brown

        Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:39 pm

        The myth that Thailand can genuinely be considered a green zone; the myth that we can live like NZ, despite sharing unenforceable land borders with red zones undergoing full-blown epidemics. It has been absurd to think this, and the MoPH laws and security laws from the PM’s office, that prohibit publishing independent serological studies despite the pleas of genuine public health experts, do us much harm by not clearing up this foolish notion.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:51 pm

          So who, exactly, has said that ” Thailand can genuinely be considered a green zone”?

          Who, exactly, has said that “we can live like NZ, despite sharing unenforceable land borders with red zones undergoing full-blown epidemics”?

          Just asking, as I can’t recall anyone in any position of authority saying anything like that?

          Maybe you could give some examples of that?

          Or even of anyone not in a position of authority but just in a supposedly informed position?

          Or even anyone at all?


          Or maybe not, and the only “myth” is that there’s a myth …..

          • Avatar

            John Brown

            Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm

            (1) Strongly and respectfully recommend you look up what a green zone means in epi planning terms.

            (2) That non-essential service businesses like restaurants and bars, non-essential public facilities like libraries and museums, and recreational facilities and events like sports matches and music concerts should be open at all – like they are in NZ – speaks to a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation that has existed all year.

            Myths are implicitly about shared knowledge as much as common knowledge; people saw the emperor had no clothes long before a child said it. Your trail of loaded questions are a red herring, and assuming good faith on your part, an understandable misunderstanding of my post above, and the one above it.

            To directly clarify, we meant the myths that drive people’s behaviors, bolstered by counterproductive governance policies, commonly reported on in both domestic and international news, driven by the false idea that there has not been local transmission for a long time, which is patently false, despite plentiful claims to the contrary (there are so many socially-validated media and government sources directly pushing this narrative that this cannot really be what you are asking me to provide).

            Also, I am Thai, with strong connections to relevant authorities, and I promise that I an not LARP’ing any of this. So please do not condescend to me in my own country and on topics concerning the safety of my country that I am scientifically well-studied and politically well-informed about. I take time out of my day to share information with the English-speaking community to the extent that it is legally and practically possible for me to, and I do it for moral reasons. To the extent that we are both doing this because we genuinely care, let’s please try to be friendly and apply charity of interpretation to other commenters whose words we take seriously enough to respond to 🙂

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm

          … and while you’re about it, maybe you could name those “genuine public health experts” who’ve pleaded for “independent serological studies”, with some sort of verifiable source ?

          • Avatar

            John Brown

            Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

            And risk arrest? Absolutely not. Don’t be combative, I am generally on your side.

        • Avatar


          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:45 pm

          Well put sir!
          My only concern is, what happens now that the genie is out of the bottle?

          For my part and for very personal reasons, I would have loved to believe Thailand was a green zone but, much like yourself and for the same reasons you have highlighted, have always found it hard to believe this was effectively the case.

        • Avatar

          Mike Frenchie

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:18 pm

          Indeed, was a myth/a convenient narrative from day one… the borders are just too long… it had to happen and the latest problem is just too big to be controlled with contact tracing (also – it probably started 10 days ago).

          My hope now is that Thailand starts vaccinating now by using any available vaccine (UK, Russian, Chinese… who cares).

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:24 pm

            There is no “available vaccine” now!

            My “hope” is that someone could wave a magic and and Covid would be over, there’d be world peace, etc, etc, etc, but that isn’t going to happen!

      • Avatar


        Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:43 pm

        The ‘myth’ that poverty stricken pensioners like you Penniless John can hide in Thailand to avoid the virus.
        Enjoy your barbaqued rat and rice.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm

          Hardly “hiding” anywhere since I’ve been living here for nearly thirty years!

          … and hardly a “poverty stricken pensioner”, fortunately, since I came here in my mid-30’s and have had no need to work since to be able to live a very pleasant life-style. Sorry 🙂

          … and I haven’t had “barbaqued rat and rice” since I was working in Sulawesi … 🙂 🙂

        • Avatar

          Prof. JPD

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 4:53 pm

          Peter, wrong judgment. Can´t you remember Issan John´s post having houses, possessing cars and motorbikes, deposits inland and accounts offshore? Please show more respect…:-))

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, December 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

            Actually one house that isn’t mine, one car (actually a pick up), again not mine, one motor bike now, not mine either. and three bicycles – one of which is mine.

            The idea that you can see if someone’s wealthy or “penniless” by where they choose to live is simply bizarre; some friends in Pattaya have houses costing 40 or 50 million baht, while others rent a bedsit and live on the dole (unemployment) from the UK.

    • Avatar


      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 7:00 am

      Thai people do not know how lucky they are to live in Thailand.
      What counts is not the number of people testing positive but the number of deaths.
      In Thailand there have been 70 deaths since the beginning of this “epidemic”.

      I come from a Western country with a population barely less populated than Thailand where there are already 70,000 deaths and where every day there are more deaths than Thailand has had in almost a year.

      The reason: as soon as the first cases were announced, the Thai government :
      – totally closed its borders
      – made masks available
      – imposed a distancing
      – has left doctors free to treat.

      The country I’m talking about (70,000 deaths) :
      – has left its borders completely open
      – there were no masks ; its government said they were useless
      – recommended a distance of only 1 meter
      – and most importantly: has BANNED all effective and inexpensive drugs that could cure this disease.

      The Minister of Health and the Thai Prime Minister are to be congratulated and deserve to be decorated for having well protected the Thai people.

  2. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Oh dear the odious, smiling, farang basher is about to get fired.
    The UK just found a virus strain that they think transmits upto 70% more effectively.
    I hope big pharma’s vaccines aren’t rendered redundant within weeks.
    There’s going to be a lot of ‘i’m alright jack’ expats getting very worried today.
    ‘So glad i live in Thailand’. “Ha Ha Ha, borders shut, i’m fine thanks.’

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Reportedly “big pharma” are reasonably sure that their vaccines will be equally effective against the new strain ….. and I expect “a lot of ‘i’m alright jack’ expats” will be relieved, though, that the UK and USA, amongst others, will be doing the Phase Four testing of the vaccines for them …..

  3. Avatar

    Robert Bunker

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Having made the mistake of returning ( briefly, I had imagined) to the UK and been stuck here since June I have followed Covid in parallel btw UK and Thailand. Overall think Thai govt. have performed immeasurably better of the two ( albeit not difficult given the clowns running the UK into the ground – clowns I reluctantly voted for).The “surge” has been inevitable.. the Thai govt. Made the mistake of mass testing and the rabbit jumped clear out of the hat. Testing has been a shocking waste of £billions here for no good reason but I think it may be the landing of the boil that Thailand has needed. The UK has been swamped by mass hysteria and rank cowardice and faces ruin as a result – vaccine or not. Now it has the opportunity to let go the fear factor Thailand might do well to wind back the panic ( think the comments about asymptomatic and therefore no danger might have been carefully thought through and a start). I hope so.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      Very fair points, Robert B ….. and, to be fair, what other clown could you have voted for given the limited options available?

      The idea of “mass testing”, as you say, is proving to be a shocking and pointless waste of time and billions, and a complete non-starter despite the advent of the farcical AbC-19 Lateral Flow Rapid Test that according to SAGE missed over half of all cases.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, which none of the Jason’s, John B’s, peter’s, etc, have been able to contradict:

      “There are alternatives that give an equally good if not better picture, but it just doesn’t suit some people’s agendas to accept them as it would make Thailand’s precautions look good and the West’s look bad:

      1. Thailand gives all government hospital inpatients a mandatory Covid-19 test; AFAIK only one has tested positive.

      2. Thailand tests all those applying for a work permit in Thailand; again, AFAIK only one has tested positive.

      3. Wherever there’s a reported outbreak of Covid-19 (as in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Samut Sakhon), tracking and targeted testing takes place; the numbers testing positive are minimal, apart from in Samut Sakhon (and minimal even there, by UK standards).

      4. While mass temperature testing is far from accurate it would show up at least some of the 20% who would be symptomatic if Covid was as widespread here as some imagine; it hasn’t.

      5. If Covid was as widespread as some imagine, and the population as paranoid, there would be queues outside the government hospitals who were symptomatic demanding to be tested; there aren’t.”

      • Avatar

        Robert Bunker

        Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 4:15 pm

        Agree with all of that John but with the proviso on the last point that I, myself, neither think that Covid, in terms of it being a life threatening disease, is remotely as widespread (anywhere) as is reported, nor that the numbers with Covid virus (as opposed to those who deinfitively die FROM – not WITH – Covid) are even relevant.

        In today’s Telegraph (UK) senior political columnist Janet Daley argues what many think but dare not say is that there is no Coronavirus crisis: the crisis is entirely about society’s insane reaction to it, and the almost crazily mistaken belief that we can and should help people live forever. She states that as a killer and “crippling” disease Covid does not even register compared to the devastation of Polio in the 50’s or the Asian flu of 1968 which killed 80,000, mostly young, in the UK alone.

        Covid kills those that are either banging on death’s door or rapidly approaching it – those that little more than a decade ago would have died of their other comorbidities (including me ).

        All governments publish “cases” and “deaths” – i have yet to see any government openly publish the numbers that have died FROM Covid who had no other life threatening conditions albeit ONS here (and i believe some Bavarian state authority have stated that a majority of those dying would have died within 6 months with or without Covid.

        Undoubtedly, coming back to Thailand, the government has other reasons, as do all governments, for feeding the fear but i think it would be smart of them to start easing up on the rhetoric (but not the everyday controls that undoubtedly plays a huge part in avoiding the shambles we are seeing in the West). That way they will hopefully feel they can open up, as they surely must at some point in 2021 (unless they want to go go the way of N.Korea), with minimal drama and egg free face.

        • Avatar


          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 6:09 pm

          Time to get your your facts right Mr Bunker:
          Excerpt taken from the “LANCET” (Oficial medical publication of the UK)
          The 1968 influenza pandemic aka “Hong Kong flu” or “Mao flu” as some western tabloids dubbed it, would have an even more dramatic impact, killing more than 30 000 individuals in the UK.

          Researching several credible sources various numbers are quoted, I’ve used the ones from the more scientific/medical sources, not the sensationalist press.
          Asian flu, 30,000 NOT 80,000 (the 80,000 figure seems to be the USA deaths) and this was over a 3 year period. Covid deaths UK 67,000 so far in around just 10 months, likely to be around 100,000 in a full year.

          I actually lived in the UK through the 68-70 period and don’t recollect a sense of fear or panic at the time.

          • Avatar

            Robert bunker

            Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:22 pm

            Hardly think The Telegraph can be deemed sensationalist and I have taken the 80,000 directly from them: in that respect the facts are entirely right. What I would suggest to you is that your inference that accepting figures attributable to either medical or scientific as being somehow superior and more accurate is laughable given the total breakdown in the credibility of so called scientific experts this year in the UK. Bullshit and lies – scaremongering on the basis of outrageous modelling forecasts – many thousands like me who have trusted medical / scientific bodies all our lives now rank them as charlatans with their own career concerns coming well ahead of public service.

        • Avatar

          Falang a Ting Tong

          Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 6:54 pm

          The Telegraph is a bush league conservative rag, please spare us from such politically driven rubbish. The “everyone is on death’s doorstep analogy is a bunch of ficticious hogwash. Plenty of people with underlying pre-existing conditions is at risk, regardless of age or government rhetoric.)

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    This time we need to be careful. Good luck for all. Too many cases.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    I would rather governments put the risk in their citizens’ hands.
    They could advise the citizens, if you a fat, old, and already ill, stay out of contact with anyone who could give you covid.
    There is too much dictating.
    It can be dangerous to cross the road where there are no proper crossing, but government have no right to say the citizens cannot cross.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Governments not only DO but MUST have a right to say “citizens cannot cross” if it affects others.

      If you want to do something stupid that only affects you, no problem, knock yourself out and go for it.

      If it affects others, though, for example crossing the road stupidly and causing an accident that kills or injures someone else, puts you in hospital so you take up a bed and hospital time and space that someone else could have used instead (who hadn’t done something stupid) and the rest of us have to pay your bill, then it’s hardly unreasonable for governments to try to protect others from the effects of your deliberate stupidity.

  6. Avatar

    The Land of Smiles

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    We are all fed up with you, Anutin!

  7. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    You idiots sniping at each other, and getting personal in your comments about others is going to cost you – and the rest – the freedom to comment on these stories.

    I’ve been involved in many forums in Thailand over the last 15 years…and it’s always the same shit.

    If you guys can’t play nice, please don’t play. Some of us are just tired of your endless pettiness.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Quite right Mister Stretch. Did you read that John?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Agreed, Mister S.

      It’s one thing to disagree, particularly if you can support yourself with verifiable facts, but that’s rather different to making comments that have nothing to do with the article / report / subject and are simply flaming.

      There’s no excuse for that, here or anywhere else.

  8. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    The biggest irony now is that if the government does make it easier for foreign tourists to get in, after months of measures and announcements assuming foreigners “can’t wait to get in”, these foreigners might be thinking “thanks, but no thanks”.

  9. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Eventually the government will have no choice but to entice the tourist dollar. It’s just a matter of time. You can already see the economic panic start to set . Thailand & tourism are synonymous. To think they can wait for years to restart this portion of the economy is ludicrous.

  10. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Not wanting to be “combative”, John Brown, but if you’re going to “strongly and respectfully recommend you look up” what something means and then lecture about the meaning of a word, it’s probably a good idea not to say something like “myths are implicitly about shared knowledge as much as common knowledge” when the complete opposite is the case!

    “Myths” aren’t about “knowledge” at all – that’s why they’re myths. They’re about ideas that, however widely held, have no basis in fact or “knowledge” at all!

    Sorry 🙂

  11. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Difficult, if not impossible, for any government to get the level of “fear mongering” right, or at least at a level that would suit most people.

    Here, for example, you’ve got some people claiming that the Thai authorities are using the pandemic for their own ends to cause “mass hysteria” and that they should be “winding back on the rhetoric”, while on the other hand you’ve got such as John Brown who claims to be “Thai, with strong connections to relevant authorities, and … scientifically well-studied and politically well-informed”, who thinks that “non-essential service businesses like restaurants and bars, non-essential public facilities like libraries and museums, and recreational facilities and events like sports matches and music concerts” should all have been closed here and remain closed because of “the gravity of the situation”.

    … and on top of that, that just to “name those “genuine public health experts” who’ve pleaded for “independent serological studies”, with some sort of verifiable source” is to “risk arrest”.

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