Thailand’s Health Minister vows to fight NESDB health volunteer reward cuts

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Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has cried foul over Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board’s (NESDB) plan to cut to seven the 500 Baht monthly payments for the country’s 1.05 million public health volunteers, for their hard work in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Do not interfere. How do they (NESDB) know this (500 baht per month for seven months) is enough? Do they know how hard they have been working? How many lost their lives and how many became sick?” asked a visibly concerned Minister, as he vowed to defend the payments and to raise the issue at the next Cabinet meeting.

He claimed that the reward was within the 10 billion baht fund and was one of the five projects under a 45 billion baht budget set aside by the Government, from the one trillion baht loan that the Government is acquiring to cushion the impacts of the pandemic.

He added that he expects support from the other coalition parties to protect the public health volunteers.

The volunteers have been on the frontline, monitoring people returning to their home provinces from Bangkok and making sure they observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine at home, since Thailand imposed lockdown restrictions in March.

Meanwhile, health volunteers and state hospital personnel can now start registering for free two-day one-night package tours, organised by tour companies via their “Pao Tang” online application of the state-run Krung Thai Bank.



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