Doctor joins staff making face masks

Doctor joins staff making face masks

Piyavate Hospital executive mans a sewing machine to help ease shortages

Dr Chuchai Sornchumni, deputy chief executive officer of Piyavate Hospital, sews a face mask as part of a staff-led project to alleviate the shortage for health personnel. (Photo from Tukk Yodmongkol and Chuhai Sornchummi Facebook pages)
Dr Chuchai Sornchumni, deputy chief executive officer of Piyavate Hospital, sews a face mask as part of a staff-led project to alleviate the shortage for health personnel. (Photo from Tukk Yodmongkol and Chuhai Sornchummi Facebook pages)

A senior executive at a Bangkok hospital has rolled up his sleeves during his free time from treating patients to make face masks, essential items still in short supply for health personnel battling the coronavirus.

Dr Chuchai Sornchumi, deputy chief executive officer of Piyavate Hospital, was seen sitting behind a sewing machine helping hospital staff, with photos widely circulated on social media.

The former deputy secretary-general of the National Health Security Office remained humble in response to praise heaped on him by social media users.

“Please see me as an ordinary doctor. I’m not better than the others,” he wrote on his Facebook account. Dr Chuchai said he just wanted to help society at a time when “our health system is fighting the global pandemic war”.

Doctors and other health personnel desperately need face masks to shield themselves from Covid-19 as more patients are sent to hospitals to test or treat the virus.

There are shortages at both at public and private hospitals, as people have stocked up on masks in hopes of reducing their chances of becoming infected.

The government’s latest response this week was to set up a new “national centre” to ensure mask supplies are adequate. It will consist of bureaucrats from both the Public Health and Commerce ministries, who will focus on prices of essential protective gear as well as exports of masks.


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