There are now at least four factions within the government fighting with each other over Covid-19 recovery plans, jeopardizing the country’s response and causing embarrassment for the current administration, sources told Thai Enquirer on Thursday.
The third wave of the pandemic continues unchecked in Thailand with the total number of people infected since April 1 approaching 100,000.
But despite the grave threat to the country and the economy, Thailand’s government has been unable to find a way to coordinate and cooperate jeopardizing and prolonging the country’s recovery.
Among the factions openly fighting with one another, the Ministry of Public Health and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration seems to be at loggerheads over credit-sharing and logistical solutions to the rising number of infections within the capital. (Read more here)
Their infighting, according to sources within both camps, has slowed down the vaccination drive and has private and public hospitals questioning their competency.
“I don’t care what branch of the government you are in, at least send one cohesive message to us so we can communicate that with the public,” said one senior private hospital administrator who asked to not be named.
Now it appears that the Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul and his office are also open feuding with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha over the best course of action for the country.
Anutin and doctors at the health ministry have advocated a walk-in vaccination policy in certain areas to help keep down infections numbers and reduce the rate of fatalities.
However, his advice was disregarded and reversed at the last second by doctors at the CCSA and by the prime minister who worried about chaos at the vaccination centers.
The feud spilled over into the public sphere on Wednesday when the spokesman for Anutin’s Bhumjai Thai said the following.
Bhumjaithai’s spokesman, Paradorn Prissanananthakul, criticized Prime Minister Prayut’s decision to overturn the walk-in vaccination policy. He said if people wait to use the Mor Phrom app then everyone will catch covid. #วัคซีนโควิด #วัคซีนโควิด19 pic.twitter.com/BSfMqBsTZc— Thai Enquirer (@ThaiEnquirer) May 19, 2021
Analysts say that the public feuds and the lack of cohesiveness within the government is bad for public at a time of national crisis.
“No one is going to want to get vaccinated or respect the policies of a government that can’t even get their messaging on point,” said Arun Saronchai, a Thai political analyst.
“It is embarrassing not only for them for the entire country. This is a national emergency, a time where the best leaders unite us all. Prayut and his government have proven incapable of that.”