Celeb May Violate Cybercrime Laws By Saying He Has Covid-19

Photo: Matthew Deane Chanthavanij / Instagram

BANGKOK — A health official on Friday threatened a legal action against a celebrity who said he has the coronavirus.

Just hours after actor and boxer Matthew Deane Chanthavanij posted on his Instagram that he tested positive for Covid-19 infection, chief of the Department of Medical Sciences Opart Karnkawinpong said he might have violated the Computer Crime Act for spreading panic.

“We are checking whether his illness is genuine since he is not wearing a patient outfit,” Opart said. “If he’s actually sick, then he needs to be treated, but if not, he can be charged with the Computer Crime Act since it is causing public panic and confusion.”

Matthew posted a video of himself wearing a facemask Friday afternoon on Instagram, saying that he had the virus, although his case was not included in today’s daily news briefing by the Ministry of Health.

“I want to inform everyone, especially people close to me that have come in contact with me during the past three to four days that I have Covid–19,” Matthew said in the video.

Matthew isn’t the only person who shared news of their infection publicly. A Singaporean man who owns Ohana Poke restaurant on Wireless Road posted on his shop’s Facebook on March 10 that he had contracted the virus – without any repercussion from the authorities. 

Matthew, 41, is a Thai-Australian an actor, singer, and boxer who has his own boxing studio, Khongsittha Muay Thai. The studio is closed Friday for disinfection, according to a post by Matthew on his Facebook.

Matthew is married to singer Sarunrat “Lydia” Visutthithada.