Anutin closes Facebook account after quarantine post

Anutin closes Facebook account after quarantine post

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has closed the Facebook account he has regularly used to communicate with his supporters. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has closed the Facebook account he has regularly used to communicate with his supporters. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Public Health Minister Auntin Charnvirakul has closed a Facebook account one day after he posted -- and then deleted -- a message that said all visitors from Thailand's largest sources of foreign tourism would face mandatory self-quarantine for two weeks.

"Sorry, this content isn't available right now," reads the message on his social media page, www.facebook.com/AnutinC.

The Bhumjaithai Party leader has at least one other Facebook account, but used this one regularly to air his positions on current affairs.

On Tuesday, Mr Anutin scooped other news sources by posting the Public Health Ministry announcement declaring nine countries and two territories high-risk areas for the coronavirus. The countries listed in his announcement were Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, Taiwan, France, Singapore, Italy and Iran. Hong Kong and Macau were the territories.

But it was what he wrote next that set alarm bells ringing: that all visitors from these countries would be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days with no exceptions.

Minutes later, the post was deleted.

Mr Anutin said on Wednesday he was unclear why the announcement was posted because the number of the countries and territories needed revision, according to Manager Online. There might have some mistakes, he said.

The implication seemed to be that someone else was responsible for the post.

When asked why the Facebook account was closed, Mr Anutin said "My son wanted me to have a break," according to Manager Online. He said he or his team members had other accounts to communicate with his followers.


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