Senior officials inside the Covid response centre and the Ministry of Public Health are growing increasingly frustrated with the Bangkok Governor’s office and its haphazard response to the Covid-19 pandemic, sources told Thai Enquirer on Tuesday.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration made a last minute intervention on Monday to halt an order by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration from opening parks, massage parlors and other at-risk businesses.
It is the latest public spat between the feuding government organizations that has drawn into question the government’s Covid-19 response and has caused embarrassment for officials in the Ministry of Public Health and the CCSA.
“[The BMA] are making unilateral decisions without telling other governmental organizations and without asking for input about the risk to public health,” said a MOPH senior official who asked to not be named.
“We don’t know what the hell they are doing, they’re not communicating, the CCSA don’t know what the hell they are doing,” the official said.
The BMA had defended its decision to reopen businesses on Monday by saying the majority of infections were happening in construction sites and work camps and that there was little risk in reopening the businesses. It is a claim that has been contested by the government’s health advisors.
“We saw the largest number of infections in the general public on Monday and they think that is the right time to announce reopening, it is incredibly irresponsible,” said one a advisor to the CCSA.
“They are forging ahead with policy designed to make them popular with the privileged Bangkok crowd without caring that it is going to increase the rate of infections,” the official told Thai Enquirer.
“It is frustrating because [Governor Asawin Kwanmuang] and his team are making decisions to gain favor among the public and with a re-election in mind rather than caring about the greater good,” he said. “All they want is good publicity.”
Calls to the governor’s son Pongsakorn Kwanmuang who was installed by his father as the BMA spokesman was not returned.