THAI netizens strongly criticised a music concert held at Surin province last night (Dec. 17) that attracted over 50,000 people fearing that it could lead to new Covid clusters developing, Thai Rath newspaper said this afternoon.
The concert by Pongsit “Pu” Kampee, a Thai rock singer and producer popular in the phleng pheua chiwit (Songs for Life) genre, started at 10 p.m. at Chang fairground but was cancelled an hour later at 11 p.m. While police, security guards and rescue volunteers strictly screened participants for weapons and intoxication substances there was no limit on those who could go in.
Police in patrol cars drove around the fairground for a distance of one to five kilometres to ensure there was trouble as the youngsters started drifting out. However a clash did break out between some teenagers but they quickly fled after police moved in.
Found there was a suspicious object, two balls wrapped with black tape and police called Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers to check it and they determined that it was an incomplete bomb that was not harmful.
Surin Provincial Public Health officials said at a press conference today that the concert was organised under the new normal format with Covid preventive measures in place including participants having to wear face masks and ensuring social distance.
They said this concert was limited to 2,000 people, but in fact the real turnout was over 50,000. Netizens who blasted the arrangement of this concert pointed out that some participants were spotted dancing with their face mask off and the large crowd did not maintain social distance.
Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry said this morning that there were 3,132 new Covid cases and 28 deaths over the past 24 hours taking the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 2,159,766 and from the start of the pandemic 2,188,629.
Of the new batch of cases 3,039 emerged among the general public while 93 fell sick in prisons and detention centres.
Another 3,278 patients were cured, taking total recoveries to 2,096,543, while 43,305 are still undergoing treatment.
Today’s 28 fatalities raised the death toll to 21,355.
The jam-packed concert held in Surin last night. Photo: Thai Rath