With many people now working from home due to the state of emergency in Thailand, there remains one group of people who are on the front line in the fight against covid-19 – medical workers.
Medical staff are the heroes of this epidemic, putting themselves at risk every time they go work. As the number of coronavirus infections continues to grow across the country, their job becomes more difficult.
As if there aren’t enough obstacles in their way already, doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff have come under criticism from the Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, who threatened to “whip” medical staff who caught the virus before later apologizing for his remarks.
Another obstacle in the way of frontline staff is the lack of supplies due to hoarders and resellers hoping to make a profit. Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok made an official plea to citizens for face masks, stating they only have enough to last another two weeks.
At Piyavate Hospital in Bangkok, the Deputy Executive Officer, Dr. Chuchai Sornchumni, took to sewing face masks for his staff due to the shortage of supplies.
Now, as a consequence, coronavirus infections are soaring among medical personnel. Yesterday, of the 143 new infections reported in Thailand, 8 were health workers.
The Health Department has pleaded for donations of face masks and supplies. However, more tellingly, they also asked for “moral support” for the frontline workers.
The United Nations has already called for “better protection for health care workers”, saying in a statement:
“The brave doctors, nurses, emergency first responders and other medical professionals working on the frontlines of the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic are heroes. Their tireless work and self-sacrifice show the best of humanity. They must also be protected.”