Thailand’s Prime Minister has denied he issued a warning on the risks of COVID-19 transmission to threaten anti-government protesters. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha warned of a new wave of COVID-19 in his nationwide address yesterday. Anti-government demonstrators plan to rally at the Tha Prachan campus of Thammasat University today.
“Regarding my statement yesterday, I do care about people and did not mean to threaten anyone. All adults must create understanding and take care of their children. Can they cope if anything happens?” Gen Prayut said.
“I care about people on all issues. I did not raise one matter to pressure another matter. Please consider the intention of the one who is the prime minister,” he said.
Officials had worked hard to control COVID-19 and people’s cooperation could relieve their burden, he said.
Effective COVID-19 control by the government resulted in economic recovery. Furthermore if the success continued, the government would proceed with tourism promotion, the Gen. Prayut said.
Covid-19 health official deployed for Rally
Prayut’s speech, which aired nationwide Thursday evening. Its was made just two days before the anti-government demonstrations at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus today.
Protest organizers are also demanding Gen. Prayut and his military backed government to step down. They also confirmed that the monarchy will be discussed on stage.
Meanwhile, health minister Anutin Charnvirakul said health officials will be deployed at protest sites to hand out face masks and hand sanitizers. First aid stations will also be set up to take care of the protesters, he added.
“We want everyone to be safe and free of COVID-19,” Anutin said. “I’d like to ask protest organizers to announce that those who have fever, cough, sore throat, or runny nose should stay at their residences. Above all to prevent the disease from spreading.”
Civil rights activist Arnon Nampha said the protest organizers assured him that hygiene measures such as temperature screening points and also hand sanitizer dispensers will also be deployed at the rally site.