Anutin criticises 'careless' health personnel, apologises again

Anutin criticises 'careless' health personnel, apologises again

Health minister under attack on social media

Public Health Minister Aunti Charnvirakul attacks health personnel and then apologises. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Public Health Minister Aunti Charnvirakul attacks health personnel and then apologises. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul criticised medical personnel infected with the coronavirus, drawing anger in social media until he apologised.

The Bhumjaithai Party leader told reporters no health personnel caught the virus while on duty.

"As far as I know from a report, no doctor has been infected while they were treating Covid-19 patients," he said, when asked about the ministry's measures to better protect medical personnel.

"We're not happy with some health personnel who do not take good care of themselves. They should have set an example for others,"  he said.

The ministry reported 9 health personnel were among the new infections.

People reacted to his controversial remark on social media, making the "anutin" hashtag top-trending on Twitter. "Thank you for your advice," one wrote on her Twitter account.

The minister later came out to apologise. In an online video clip, he said he was under pressure and had not carefully listened to the question from reporters.

"I have no intention to criticise anybody. I admire all of them," he said.

One Twitter account wrote after his video appearance: "Too late though. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all."

Mr Anutin was no stranger to controversial remarks.

In February, he apologised to the public for saying that a group of foreigners should be "kicked out of Thailand" for refusing to wear face masks.

He shut down his Facebook account on March 4 after posting a message that said all visitors from certain countries would face mandatory self-quarantine for two weeks when the announcement had not yet been made. He later claimed it was not him who posted the message.

The minister later returned on March 12 with the @anutin_c Twitter account which was also closed later after he wrote the western tourists he saw during a visit to Chiang Mai were dirty.

Mr Anutin was seen as being sidelined after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared the state of emergency effective on Thursday. Under the structure of the new committee handling the coronavirus crisis, Gen Prayut has full authority to handle the situation. While related ministers are on the committee, it is permanent-secretaries who were appointed chiefs of the operations to take orders directly from Gen Prayut.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (133)

Leaders Arsenal fall 1-0 to Everton

LIVERPOOL: Arsenal fell to just a second Premier League defeat of the season as James Tarkowski’s header gave Everton the perfect start under new manager Sean Dyche in a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

4 Feb 2023

Pakistan blocks Wikipedia over ‘blasphemous content’

Wikipedia was blocked in Pakistan on Saturday after authorities censored the website for hosting “blasphemous content” in the latest blow to digital rights in the deeply conservative country.

4 Feb 2023

Shark kills teen in Western Australia

A 16-year-old girl was killed on Saturday after being mauled by a shark as she swam in a river in Western Australia, officials said.

4 Feb 2023