Anutin has Covid, absent from cabinet meeting

Anutin has Covid, absent from cabinet meeting

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul gets the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine administered in Thailand, from Sinovac, at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province on Feb 28, 2021. (Photo: Government House)
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul gets the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine administered in Thailand, from Sinovac, at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province on Feb 28, 2021. (Photo: Government House)

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul tested positive for Covid-19 on returning from meetings in France and Switzerland and was unable to attend the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Anutin attended the 170th General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris on June 20-21, where he affirmed Thailand's readiness to host the 2028 Specialised Expo in Phuket.

After that he attended the 50th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 21-24.

Mr Anutin and his entourage, which included high-level officials from the health and foreign affairs ministries, returned to Thailand on Sunday.

Health permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit said that on his return Mr Anutin had muscle pains and a sore throat. He took an antigen test, which showed positive for Covid-19. Doctors advised him to go into isolation for one week for treatment, Dr Kiatiphum said.

Mr Anutin said he had requested leave from the cabinet meeting. He believed he caught the virus during the trip as he had met many people who were not wearing face masks. While making speeches and chairing meetings he also had to take off his mask.

Mr Anutin was the first person in Thailand to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

Local vaccination started on Feb 28, 2021, at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province. He received a dose of Sinovac. He was vaccinated six times before being confirmed infected with the virus.

According to the minister's FC Facebook page, he earlier had two Sinovac shots, two AstraZeneca and one Pfizer shot, and it has a photo of him getting a sixth dose, Pfizer, on June 13.


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