AFTER Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha posted a photo of himself attending a meeting with his advisers this morning (April 26) on sharply stepping the vaccination drive in the country without wearing a face mask, he was later fined 6,000 baht by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) for not doing so, TV Channel 7 said.
BMA has intensified its measures to control the coronavirus outbreak with people having to wear face masks 100% starting today with those caught not doing so facing 6,000 baht fine for the first offense, this goes up to 12,000 baht for the second time and 20,000 baht for the third.
The rule also applies to vehicles with more than one person travelling in it.
As this image of Gen Prayut circulated it triggered an online drama after netizens noticed that he was not wearing a face mask. The photo was later deleted from his Facebook page where he had announced the goal of injecting 300,000 or more doses of Covid vaccine a day, for a total of 10-15 million jabs a month. It is hoped that by the end of year or sooner than that Thailand will reach its target of vaccinating 50 million people.
Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Asawin Kwanmuang said on his Facebook page that at 11 a.m. Gen Prayut contacted him from the Government House to check whether he had broken the face mask rule.
As he had done so, he went with the Commander of the Metropolitan Police and the investigation officer of Dusit Police Station to the Government House and fined Gen Prayut 6,000 baht.
In other development, the Corrections Department said on its website that 35 inmates, including protest leaders Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, and Mr. Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, a popular singer whose stage name is Ammy the Bottom Blues, have tested negative for coronavirus after another detained protest leader, Mr. Chukiat Saengwong, or Justin, got infected.
However all 35 will be quarantined for 14 days.
Of the two protest leaders who were released on bail late last week, Mr. Jarupat Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, had been tested with the result that came out this morning clearing him of infection.
The other released protest leader, Mr Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, was tested this morning and the result will be known in three days’ time.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut attending this morning’s meeting without wearing a face mask, right, and BMA Governor Asawin’s notice fining him for not doing so, left. Thai headline says, “Fining the Prime Minister for not wearing a face mask.” Photo: TV Channel 7