Health minister quarantined, Samut Sakhon governor infected

Health minister quarantined, Samut Sakhon governor infected

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, centre, inspects the construction of a field hospital at Samut Sakhon stadium in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province on Sunday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, centre, inspects the construction of a field hospital at Samut Sakhon stadium in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province on Sunday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is under house quarantine for 14 days after a meeting with the Samut Sakhon governor, who later tested positive for Covid-19.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, announced on Monday that Mr Anutin was in house quarantine. 

A sample swab had been collected from the minister for Covid-19 testing after a senior local official was confirmed with the disease, he said.

"The official has been working hard in the province and been exposed to a high risk of contracting the disease, despite taking precautions," the spokesman said. 

The official would now take a rest and subordinates would take charge, he said. He did not identify the man.

Dr Taweesilp said senior officials from the Public Health Ministry had a one-hour meeting  with the official at Samut Sakhon Hospital on Sunday. The senior provincial official was later confirmed infected with Covid-19.

All wore face masks throughout the meeting, held to discuss the establishment of field hospitals in Samut Sakhon.

Results of Covid-19 tests on the health minister and the other senior officials of the ministry were pending, he said.

Mr Anutin wrote on his Facebook account later that the infected official was Samut Sakhon governor Verasak Vichitsaengsri and they had the meeting before the governor was tested.

Mr Anutin said his own first test was negative and doctors considered him at low risk of catching the disease, because the Samut Sakhon governor had always worn a face mask.

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