January 21, 2014 00:00 By Pongphon Sarnsamak, Suriyan P
The Public Health Ministry has instructed its officials to be on the alert for violent incidents ahead of the February 2 election.
Dr Narong Sahametapat, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Tuesday ordered the heads of provincial public health offices in 18 provinces to be on the look out for clashes and be ready to provide emergency medical attention to the injured.
The Public Health Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Dr Wachira Pengjuntr, said he had been monitoring the rallies led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in 18 provinces and so far, no casualties had been reported, although in Phatthalung, public health officials have had to move to another office.
“Some provincial public health offices have been shut, while some officials have moved to work in other places. The protesters are just making symbolic moves,” he said.
Dr Narong Apikulwanich, chief of the ministry’s emergency medical services operation, said his agency has not received any reports of violence during the PDRC rally to shut down several government offices in Bangkok, such as the Government Savings Bank and Export-Import Bank.
As many as 272 people have been injured and four killed in violent clashes since December 26. Up to 25 of the injured are still being treated in hospital.