Any ‘farangs’ who do not wear face masks should be kicked out of the country, that’s according to Thailand’s health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul.
Speaking on Friday as he, along with other officials, handed out government issue face masks at BTS Siam, Mr Anutin said that those who refuse to wear masks “need to be kicked out of Thailand”.
The minister said that farangs who refuse to wear masks “don’t care about the big picture” and “they don’t have any consideration to the situation”.
Mr Anutin added that Asian tourists are all using the government issued facemasks but that Europeans are not – using a derogatory Thai tone when describing Europeans.
Mr Anutin’s outburst was made in front of a throng of waiting media, and was also shared on Twitter by Channel News Asia’s Thailand Correspondent, Saksith Saiyasombut.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says it is not necessary to wear a facemask.
The advice from the World Health Organisation is as follows:
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
The news comes as Thailand battles to control the outbreak of coronavirus.
At the time of publishing, Thailand had reported no new cases of coronavirus. The total number of coronavirus cases in Thailand is 25, with 9 patients having already recovered and been discharged. 16 patients remain in hospital with their condition unchanged.
There have been no deaths from coronavirus in Thailand. Those diagnosed with coronavirus in Thailand have so far been Chinese or Thai nationals.