BANGKOK — The physician who died from the coronavirus would go on to save more lives even in his death.
All funerary donations made to Panya Hanphanitphan, M.D., will be passed along to foundations and hospitals in order to buy medical equipment, pay for funerals of those who cannot afford the cost, and support volunteer doctors working in rural communities, according to his family.
The announcement was made online by Panya’s eldest son, Panprach Hanphanitphan, who thanked everyone who donated to his family at the funeral in Maha Sarakham province.
Panya tested positive for the coronavirus on Feb. 2 and died on Thursday at Maha Sarakham provincial hospital, where he had worked for 35 years. He was 66.
Local health officials suspect Panya contracted the virus from one of his patients who sought treatment with him at his clinic; three individuals who were later found with the coronavirus had visited the clinic throughout January.
Panprach said donations made to his father will be forwarded to a number of organizations, including two hospitals in Maha Sarakham and one in Khon Kaen, as well as a foundation dedicated to supporting doctors who volunteered to serve in rural areas.
The money will be spent on new coronavirus protective gears, hospital equipment, more wards for patients, a new morgue, cleaning fees of hearses, and a new emergency medical response unit.
Panya’s neighbors also gathered in recent days to lay down flowers in front of his clinic in Maha Sarakham city center.
The health ministry said on Thursday that at least 36 health professionals have been infected with the coronavirus in Thailand so far, including 6 of them who caught the virus from their patients.
The government was supposed to start an inoculation program against COVID-19 for frontline health workers this month, but that hasn’t happened so far. The health ministry said the first shipment of vaccine will arrive on Feb. 24.