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UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
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Thailand

Farang to blame: Thai govt loses plot over Covid-19

The lesson from feckless official responses is that autocratic regimes are prone to mismanaging crises by default

Benjamin Freeman, Bangkok

Benjamin Freeman, Bangkok

Updated: March 16, 2020 09:08 AM GMT
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Farang to blame: Thai govt loses plot over Covid-19

Security personnel take the temperature of people entering a building as part of measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Bangkok. (Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP)

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Thailand’s Minister of Health Anutin Charnvirakul has left no doubt about who he thinks is to blame for the spread of the deadly new coronavirus: “dirty” white people.

Writing on Twitter late last week about his official visit to the northern city of Chiang Mai, Anutin observed that “90 percent of Thais are wearing masks. However, none of the farang are wearing masks.”

The minister was referring to white people by their commonly used designation in Thailand.

“This is the reason our country is being infected all around. We should be more careful of the farang than Asians,” he explained. “At the moment it is winter in Europe and farang come to Thailand to hide from the disease. Many farang dress dirty and don’t shower. As hosts we have to be very careful.”

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