Anutin dismisses rumour of epidemic, backs plan to sue illegal border crossers
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told the press on Tuesday that the Covid-19 situation in Thailand has not reached the epidemic level yet.
He said most infections have been brought in from outside and the recent illegal border crossers have only infected those close to them.
Last week 10 women sneaked across the border from Tachilek in Myanmar and travelled to other provinces, including Bangkok, before testing positive. Anutin said the women who entered illegally to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine were selfish, immoral and lacked a sense of responsibility.
He added that the authorities will take legal action against these women, adding that people returning to the country should follow laws and public health regulations.
He also said that he fully supports Chiang Rai tourism operators who are planning to sue the illegal border crossers for Bt20 million in compensation for loss of business.
Anutin said nobody should be allowed to get away with such selfish behaviour.
“They should all be sued. The government also has to take legal action against them, otherwise they will not learn,” he said.
He also said no province has been put under lockdown so far. As for concern that some 500 Thais may have sneaked across from Laos, he said he believes provincial officials and border security have the situation under control. However, he said, ensuring complete safety requires cooperation from returnees, who should take responsibility and enter the country through correct channels.
He also advised people to monitor announcements from the Department of Disease Control.
“The Public Health Ministry holds a press conference on the situation every day. Don’t listen to rumours [of an epidemic]. The ministry and other government agencies are trying to fix the situation,” Anutin said.