11 July 2024

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul found himself in hot water again on Thursday with what was seen as his criticism of medical personnel who exposed themselves to coronavirus infections.

But hours later he issued an apology and admitted that he was under stress from pressure in dealing with the deadly virus.

The minister came under heavy criticisms after he said medical personnel should have been careful in protecting themselves while treating patients infected with the virus.

“Medical personnel should set an example for the public on how to protect themselves against the virus,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

At least 9 medical personnel are reported to be among the 1,045 people in Thailand tested positive for the virus so far.

Anutin’s remarks drew strong reactions from several medical professionals and triggered a flood of online criticisms.

In a video clip posted later on social media, Anutin apologized for having offended medical personnel with his remarks. He insisted that he did not intend to reprimand them and he might have misinterpreted the reporter’s question.

He said he always holds medical professionals in high regard and appreciates their contribution to the society, especially during this critical time.

Meanwhile, the director of Samut Prakarn provincial hospital, Dr. Nampon Danpipat, tested positive for the coronavirus this morning, according to Dr. Asadang Rueyarjin, deputy director general of the Disease Control Department.

He said that an investigation is under way to determine how Dr. Nampon contracted the disease, because he is in administration and does not take direct care of patients.

Dr. Nampon, however, had attended several meetings in the past week and is now in quarantine.