Protester who blew his hand off with firework has Covid

Protester who blew his hand off with firework has Covid

A 14-year-old anti-government protester, who blew his own hand off while preparing to throw a firework at a demonstration in Din Daeng district on Wednesday, rests in an intensive care unit at Ramathibodi Hospital on Thursday. (Photo supplied)
A 14-year-old anti-government protester, who blew his own hand off while preparing to throw a firework at a demonstration in Din Daeng district on Wednesday, rests in an intensive care unit at Ramathibodi Hospital on Thursday. (Photo supplied)

The young anti-government protester who blew his own hand off while preparing to throw a firework has Covid-19, according to police.

Pol Col Kissana Phatthanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Office, said late Wednesday night that the 14-year-old protester tested positive for the virus while receiving treatment for his severely injured hand in an intensive care unit at Ramathibodi Hospital.

The deputy spokesman said that the teenager lit the large firework near Din Daeng intersection on Wednesday. It exploded before he could throw it, and the impact blew away part of his left hand.

A police source said the teenager, who was wearing a vocational student's workshop shirt, was a student in a nonformal education system.

Pol Col Kissana dismissed as fake news a report that police forced the teenager to hold the lit firework until it exploded.

Anti-government protesters clashed with riot police at Din Daeng intersection and its vicinity on Wednesday evening.

Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said on Thursday that 11 riot policemen were injured with fireworks, ping pong bombs, glass marbles and stones. Besides, eight government vehicles and 12 traffic light kiosks were torched on Wednesday.

The damage to government property will cause unnecessary waste of the government budget, he said.

According to the Bangkok police chief, police arrested 17 demonstrators at Victory Monument on Wednesday -- 15 men and two women. All were charged with illegal assembly causing unrest and resistance to a police order to end their rally.

Pol Maj Yingyot Thepchamnong, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Office, said several of the arrested protesters also tested positive for Covid-19.

On Thursday morning, police arrested Arthit Sakolwaree, 20, at a dormitory in Phra Pradaeng district, Samut Prakan, and Namchiaw Neamchan, also 20, at an apartment in Chom Thong district, Bangkok, on suspicion of illegal assembly risking disease transmission and setting ablaze a police prisoner transport truck at the Victory Monument last Saturday.

Pol Lt Gen Pakapong quoted Mr Arthit as saying that he only threw a ping pong bomb at the police truck and the explosion did not set it alight. Meanwhile, Mr Namchiaw confessed to setting fire to the truck.

Mr Namchiaw had earlier been prosecuted for physical assault, the Bangkok police chief said.

Both suspects were charged with arson, illegal assembly causing unrest and violation of the executive decree on public administration in emergency situations and the Communicable Diseases Act.

In the suspect’s rooms, police found improvised explosive devices, flares and the clothes they used last Saturday, Pol Lt Gen Pakapong said.

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