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Samut Sakhon governor to resign, cites poor health after Covid infection and transfer rejection

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: Ton Kakab News/Facebook

The governor of the central province of Samut Sakhon, Veerasak Vichitsangsri, who recovered from a severe Covid-19 infection earlier this year, has announced that he wishes to resign from his post to spend his time with his family in Ang Thong. The governor had initially requested a transfer, but it was rejected.

The governor contracted Covid-19 in December, during the last wave of the virus which was concentrated in a major fishing hub in the province. The virus led to a lung infection and the governor was on a ventilator for more than a month. Due to an underlying condition that affects the blood flow to the brain, at one point, the governor was unable to talk.

Veerasak posted on Facebook yesterday through the pseudonym “Sakravee Srisangdharma”, which he often uses, saying that he is still weak from the infection. With the recent and most severe wave of the virus concentrated in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, including Samut Sakhon, the governor’s health has been a problem when trying to manage the outbreak.

The reason is my health is not strong and that is posing a problem for me in going out to work on the ground… Covid has left its impact on me, with exhaustion, coughing, sneezing, a runny nose and gasping for breath.

Veerasak added that there is often a stiffness on the right side of his body. Doctors contend that the governor is stressed and needs to rest more.

Governor Veerasak conceded that he would prefer a transfer due to his poor health. The Facebook post says many have asked why his name did not come up in the recent Interior Ministry reshuffle list. Veerasak said that before the “reshuffle season” he wanted to stay in his post for a while for the Samut Sakhon people.

The governor’s boss at the Interior Ministry has also said, according to Veerasak, that the governor works too hard and should be transferred to a different province where Covid is “less serious”. The governor says he wanted to be transferred to Suphan Buri, close to his home province Ang Thong, but his request was rejected. Part of the issue now is a Goldilocks-esque problem when finding a province similar to Samut Sakhon: Si Sa Ket in the Northeast is considered to be too big for him to manage while Ang Thong is too small.

Veerasak added that like many other civil servants, he dreamed of working in government until his retirement, “but, today, I accept that this is just a dream, probably, because I have been too dedicated”.

The governor concluded by saying his doctor said it’s better if he, Veerasak, quits soon and that there will always be people to take care of national affairs.

Last month, Veerasak said he would resign if communication did not improve in his province.

SOURCES: Thai PBS| Bangkok Post

 

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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