BANGKOK — Police on Monday said a woman was slapped with a criminal charge for organizing a charity event without observing social distancing measures.
Police spokesman Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen said the woman violated the government’s ban on social gatherings by attracting a large crowd of people when she handed out food close to Hualamphong Train Station on April 12. The authorities also urged other charity events to comply with safety guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A video taken by a resident in the area shows about 100 people gathering to receive food and cash handouts on Krung Kasen Road. A scuffle also reportedly broke out as some fought each other for the goods.
Col. Kissana said the woman, who was not identified by name, put members of the public at risk of infection. She was charged with violating the Emergency Decree. If found guilty, the suspect faces up to two years in jail.
A spokesman for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration also warned on Monday that well-intended gestures are escalating the risks of coronavirus infections if people cannot observe social distancing when giving relief.
Taweesin Visanuyothin said donors should contact their respective district office in order to plan and organize the handouts in a way that won’t put others at risk of infections.
Taweesin added that those spreading fake news about handouts would be prosecuted for cybercrimes.
His comment came after dozens of taxi drivers showed up at Pheu Thai Party headquarter on Monday morning after a hoax spread on social media that the party will give out 2,000-baht for each driver.
Pheu Thai party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said the party has no policy of handing out cash, which he said would violate voting laws. He also questioned who might be benefiting from the hoax against his party.