BANGKOK — Public Health Minister Anutin Charnveerakul said a 45 billion baht taken by the government will be used in improving Thailand’s healthcare capabilty, including measures against the coronavirus.
The minister told reporters that 10 billion baht alone will be solely spent on testing for the virus and treating those infected. Another 10 billion baht will go to the village volunteer network, called Aor Sor Mor, who monitors threats of the coronavirus on a local level.
“The sum is rather small compared to the mission that we have to be responsible for,” Anything said. “We had our lessons and must prepare for any possible situations that may occur, for the safety of everyone.”
Anutin also said the universal healthcare system will use the money and extend the coverage to 1 million workers at the risk of losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Quarantine operations, IT work for monitoring the virus, and vaccine research and procurement are included in yet another fund of 10 billion baht set aside for future responses to the virus in the next 16 months.
The rest of the sum will be spent on improving hospital capacity, training, and other necessary tasks, according to Anutin.
The health minister is also in the hot water after social media photos showed him and other officials dining at a restaurant without social distancing measures, in spite of the government’s guidelines imposed at restaurants nationwide.
Anutin has yet to speak on the photos as of publication time.