Thai Public Health Ministry never supported removing masks in public, Anutin says

PHOTO: Matichon

National –

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul vows to listen to all suggestions to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus while claiming that the Ministry never supported or specifically said to remove mask mandates and stop wearing masks in public.

His statements come only two weeks after the mask mandate was eased by the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha in a surprise late night order, following months of back and forth debate between the tourism and business industry who wanted it eased, especially the outside mandate and because the business sector claims many foreign tourists have no interest in wearing masks, and doctors and the medical sector who support the mandate staying with no specific offramp.

Anutin revealed during a press interview yesterday, July 6th, after Dr. Prasit Wattanapha, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, urged the Ministry to propose measures to enforce masks in closed or poorly ventilated areas that the Ministry will listen to every proposal and idea suggested by all departments.

When asked what proposals the Public Health Ministry would introduce at the upcoming Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this Friday, July 8th, the Minister only stated that it all depended on the situation whether to tighten or relax the measures.

“Ministers, The Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister, and the CCSA (Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration) all said don’t take [the masks] off as it can reduce the risk of Covid-19 and is good for everyone. But if someone wants to remove their mask, then they must assess their personal situation and the risks. The Ministry of Public Health never said that it’s time to take off the mask in public. During this time, it’s still best to wear it for ourselves,” said Anutin.

Since the removal of the mandate an increasing number of doctors have practically pleaded with the government to reinstate the mandate, despite most Thai Nationals still wearing masks in all settings.TPN notes that even during the mandate there was little to no enforcement for those who chose not to wear masks.

The CCSA is set to meet tomorrow morning, July 8th, to review the current Covid-19 situation and discuss rules and regulations around Covid-19 including possibly the return of a mask mandate which was only eased two weeks ago.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.