11 July 2024

Thailand’s Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow has tested negative for COVID-19 and had not visited a pub in Bangkok’s Thonglor area, as had been rumoured on social media.

In his Facebook post today (Monday), Supattanapong said he heard the rumour while he was inspecting rural development projects in the northeastern provinces of Bung Karn and Udon Thani on Sunday, but is not worried because it is untrue.

For the sake of public confidence in the government, particularly the economic team, and for his colleagues, however, he said that he and his teammates had gone to a hospital in Udon Thani for tests, which returned negative results, said the minister.

About 70 people, who were directly or indirectly linked with entertainment venues in the Thonglor and Chatuchak areas, have been infected with the virus, according to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department.

He said an investigation shows that this new cluster originated at an entertainment venue in Pathum Thani province and was then spread to other such venues in Bangkok by patrons, musicians and pub employees, who frequently work in more than one venue.

Poor ventilation in pubs and lax enforcement of face mask wearing and social distancing also contribute to the spread of the virus, said Dr. Opas.