Only a few Baht per inmate for COVID-19 prevention in prisons, says former Transport Minister
Former Transport Minister Dr. Chadchart Sittipunt has highlighted the fact that only a small COVID-19 prevention budget, 750,000 Baht, has been allocated to cover all prisons nationwide. This averages out to only a few Baht per inmate, at a time when more than 11,000 inmates have tested positive for the virus.
In his Facebook post yesterday, Dr. Chadchart included a link to a Corrections Department document, dated May 11th and signed by Director-General Ayut Sinthopphan, which granted this amount to protect all 142 prisons nationwide, to procure and provide surgical masks, sanitizer gel, disposable gloves, personal protective equipment (PPE), infrared thermometers, 70% Ethyl Alcohol and cleaning sprays.
According to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, there are about 310,000 inmates in prisons across the country. Dr. Chadchart then calculated that only an average of 2.41 Baht per inmate is provided to fight COVID-19.
“It’s no wonder the infections in prisons were reaching 10,000. The damage done has exceeded the budget by hundred times or more,” he wrote.
Yesterday, 6,853 newly discovered infections among inmates in eight prisons pushed Thailand’s daily case number to a new high of 9,635. Today, 680 COVID-19 more positive inmates are among 2,473 new cases reported nationally.
The Corrections Department has yet to make any statement on this issue.