Health Minister: ‘Dirty’ Europeans Pose Virus Risks to Thailand

A file photo of health minister Anutin Charnvirakul

BANGKOK — A Twitter account reportedly operated by Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul doubled down on his discriminatory remark on Western tourists, saying that they are “dirty” and more likely to spread coronavirus than Asians.

Writing in two Twitter posts on Thursday night, which were later deleted, the account said farangs – a slang for Caucasians – “never shower” and pose health risks to Thai population.

“It’s winter right now in Europe so these people are fleeing the cold in Thailand. Many are dressed dirtily and never shower. As hosts, we have to be careful. Even they don’t want to mingle with each other, closing their borders,” the post said.

“Today I’m in Chiang Mai. There’s pretty much no more Chinese tourists, only farangs. More than 90% of Thais wear masks, but not a single farang has one. This is why there’re so many infections in their countries,” another tweet from anutin_c said. “We have to be more careful of Westerners than Asians.”


Multiple media reports said the Twitter account is run by Anutin himself; the minister deleted his Facebook profile last week after a series of confusing statements on whether foreign travelers from high-risk countries would be quarantined.

The two Twitter posts appeared to have been deleted by Friday afternoon, after attracting dozens of comments criticizing his racially charged remarks.


Anutin previously raised widespread fury for suggesting that Western tourists who don’t wear masks should be “kicked out” of the country. He later apologized.

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Anutin: Farangs Who Don’t Wear Masks ‘Should Be Kicked Out’