11 July 2024

Maha Sarakham provincial health office today reported the death of Dr. Panya Harnpanichpun, the first Thai doctor to die from COVID-19.

According to the office’s Facebook post, Dr. Panya, 66, who worked at his own Panya Medical Clinic in the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham, had treated several patients since January 13th who visited him with symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as fever and coughs.

Learning that some of those patients had been admitted to hospital, Dr. Panya closed his clinic on January 28th and confined himself at home. The following day he went for a test at Sutthavech Hospital, but the result was negative. He continued to isolate himself at home.

On January 31st, however, he experienced muscle pains and had a fever, so he went for a second test the following day and was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

Many residents in the province are mourning the death of Dr. Panya, praising him on social media as being a kind-hearted doctor.

One former patient, Ms. Khemnan Phirom, said in her Facebook post that she had used his clinic for the past 25 years, since her childhood, adding that many patients from other districts also went to his clinic, which was crowded with patients every day, because the medical bills were very reasonable and the doctor was a kind person.

The late doctor also worked as a volunteer for a foundation in the province, providing free medical checkups during field trips.