Health minister under fire, again, for saying infected medical staff weren’t careful

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, at center, and Disease Control Department 
 Director Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, at right. Photo: Department of Disease Control
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, at center, and Disease Control Department Director Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, at right. Photo: Department of Disease Control

After scolding foreigners who don’t wear masks and describing them as dirty,” the public health minister was in hot water again yesterday when he criticized healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19.

Asked Thursday about measures to prevent medical personnel from becoming infected, Anutin Charnvirakul criticized infected medical staff for not “taking good care of themselves.”

“We’re not happy,” Anutin said. “Health personnel should set an example for the public [on how to protect themselves against the virus]. They should always be on alert and, especially at this time of an outbreak, they should best protect themselves.”

Eleven healthcare professionals in total were reported to have been infected with COVID-19. Thailand has struggled with shortages in critical protective gear, which it has reportedly issued gag orders forbidding medical staff from discussing.

Anutin apologized a few hours later, explaining that he did not carefully listen to a reporter’s question and had been under stress dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the first COVID-19 case was detected in early January, Thailand has reported 1,045 people infected with the virus. Four have died. 

Related:

Farangs are ‘dirty’ and virus risk to Thais, health minister tweets

Thai health minister ‘sorry’ for saying ‘f*cking farangs’ without masks should be kicked out

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