Cabinet ministers, MPs enter Covid quarantine

Cabinet ministers, MPs enter Covid quarantine

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, seated centre, with new cabinet ministers at Government House in Bangkok on March 29. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, seated centre, with new cabinet ministers at Government House in Bangkok on March 29. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Several cabinet ministers and all Bhumjaithai Party MPs have begun 14-day quarantine after being in close contact with new Covid-19 cases.

Natreeya Taweewong, adviser to the prime minister, said on Wednesday that the ministers who took the leave were Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, his deputy Mananya Thaiset, Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong and her deputies Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich and Kanokwan Vilawan.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was working from home. He and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit attended the cabinet meeting on Wednesday via video conference.

Present at Government House for the cabinet meeting were Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn and Prime Minister's Office Minister Anucha Nakasai.

Gen Prayut said before the meeting that he had another Covid-19 test and it returned negative. He also said the cabinet turned to video conferences and had cancelled the planned  ceremonial bathing of Buddha images at Government House on Wednesday.

Gen Prayut said the government would impose new disease control measures for the Songkran festival next week.

Meanwhile, Supachai Jaismut, registrar of the coalition Bhumjaithai Party, said Transport Minister Saksayam, the secretary-general, attended a party anniversary event on Tuesday,  so Bhumjaithai MPs would also enter 14-day self-quarantine, during which time they would be absent from parliamentary sessions.

Mr Supachai said an official at the transport minister's office had Covid-19. Bhumjaithai has  61 MPs.

Mr Anutin said on Wednesday that Mr Saksayam had a high fever and was admitted to a hospital in Buri Ram province pending another Covid-19 test.

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