Don’t believe your eyes, Thailand’s health minister says. “This is fine.”
Responding to alarming scenes at Bangkok’s Bang Sue Grand Station of crowds cramming inside for vaccination – without crowd control to keep them apart – controversial health minister Anutin Charnvirakul claimed that viewers could be tricked by “camera angles or whatever.”
“I can confirm this because I go there four days a week. The place is crowded only in the morning, and when I arrived there it wasn’t crowded,” Anutin said yesterday. “Camera angles or whatever can make a place look crowded.”
In case that’s not clear enough: It wasn’t crowded when he got there; therefore, it couldn’t have been crowded.
Those who don’t want to face a big crowd shouldn’t show up for vaccination until afternoon, Anutin went on to advise.
Being beleaguered by a stray mouth, scandals, botched vaccine procurement and a spiraling public health crisis doesn’t seem to have dimmed Anutin’s star with the powers that be. In fact, no one of consequence has been held publicly accountable for all the missteps that brought Thailand from pandemic success story to failure.
Anutin’s callow attempt to deny reality was quickly taken apart by another video of the huge crowd shot from a car speeding by on the motorway.
“Camera angles my ass,” Chifatcat tweeted.
Photos shared widely in recent days show the station packed with very vulnerable groups queuing to receive a jab – Thais 60 and up, foreigners 75 and up, women at least 12-weeks pregnant.
The new railway hub, located in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district, has been offering vaccine services since late May. It has reportedly put nearly a million shots in arms – averaging about 20,000 people per day.
Starting Sunday, the venue no longer will accept walk-ins and instead administer vaccines to people over 18 those with underlying conditions who have appointments.
Thailand today broke another high in daily COVID-19 cases: 17,699 infections and 165 deaths. Access to testing and high test positivity rates suggest the reality could be significantly higher.