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Family Sues Thailand’s Prime Minister Over Covid-19 Testing Fiasco

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Family Sues Thailand's Prime Minister Over Covid-19 Testing Fiasco

The family of an e-sports player who died waiting for covid-19 testing is suing Thailand’s Prime Minister and others for Bt4.5 million, claiming their inability to act in a timely manner led to his brothers inability to get tested in time which led to his death.

Attorney’s for Kulachet Wattanaphon filed a lawsuit at Thailand’s Administrative Court on Friday. Naming Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration among others, for failing to respond in a timely manner to pleas for help from his younger brother, Kunlasub Wattanaphon, who died in a hospital from covid-19 on April 23.

Mr Kunlasub, who was a famous e-sports pioneer and competitor, posted a message on his Facebook page on April 17 saying that he was self-quarantining because he feared he had contracted covid-19 after falling ill on April 14.

He said he was trying to arrange a covid-19 test but all the hotline numbers he called were busy.

On April 20, he decided to livestream the story of his increasingly desperate plight on Facebook. “I really want to be diagnosed and I think I might not survive,” he said in an emotional message.

He said his symptoms were severe and he could not drive to a hospital. He he did not want to take a taxi as he didn’t want to risk spreading the disease.

After his video caught public attention, he was admitted to a hospital on April 21, but the virus had already attacked his lungs and he was pronounced dead on April 23.

“Had my brother received prompt treatment, he would not have died,” Mr Kulachet said at the court on Friday.

He said all the covid-19 hotline numbers his younger brother had called — 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 — could not be reached or offer immediate assistance.

Many people, especially Bangkok residents, complained last month about the difficulty of arranging for Covid tests. Demand for testing soared as a new wave that began in upscale entertainment venues in the capital spread rapidly.

Attorney Ekkarat Tapananon said his clients were seeking justice for the loss of one of the breadwinners in the family. “This is not about criticism of the operation. It is the right of the family to seek compensation for damages,” he said.

The lawsuit calls for financial compensation of 4.53 million baht. Kulasup gave his mother 15,000 baht from his earnings every month, which would have amounted to 4.5 million baht had he lived to be 60.

The remaining 30,000 baht is for funeral expenses.

The court will decide in 30 days after the filing whether to accept the case.

Source: Bangkok Post

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