TRANG — A man said he was forced to share a room with a coffin at a temple designated by local authorities as a quarantine facility for those suspected of having the coronavirus.
Rittichai On-chart took to social media over the weekend to complain about his queer lodging arrangement at Wat Phra Puttakosi in Trang, along with photos of a closed coffin in the middle of his room.
The photos, initially shared in a Facebook group for Trang residents living in Phuket, soon went viral. Officials on Monday said the coffin was empty and has never been used.
Local administrator Sitthichai Chankrong said the temple was chosen as a state quarantine for residents returning from Phuket island because it’s far away from residential areas.
Sitthichai said monks at the temple kept a spare coffin in the room because they have no other space, and its presence does not imply any message for the occupants.
Speaking to reporters, Rittichai the quarantine occupant said he was a bus driver in Phuket but left the island about a week ago.
The 27-year-old said the sight of the coffin spooked him, but he didn’t have any choice, so he endured the accommodation.
In an apparent compensation for his experience, officials on Monday said they released Rittichai from the quarantine and allowed him to spend the rest of the self-isolation at his home.
Deputy tambon administrator Sitthichai said the coffin is now put into the room’s corner and covered with a red sheet to avoid any uncomfortable feelings. The room as of Monday is housing three newcomers who just arrived from Phuket.