Updated: Bangkok’s primacy

26 07 2021

At PPT we have been reading many of the recent reports of Bangkok’s problems with overflowing hospitals, people dying on the streets, and other virus-related reports. Bangkok has been a center of this virus outbreak since the infamous nighttime entertainment exploits of ministers and officials.

Hence we were somewhat surprised to read that Dr Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont, director of the epidemiology division at the Department of Disease Control, said that the “Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are likely to decline in the next four to six weeks…”. He added that “the country is expected to see more Covid-19 cases in the provinces including family transmission and those who return home for care and treatment,” warning “the provinces will see high [rates of] infections.”

Indeed, the provinces are already seeing high rates. As an example, look at reports from Korat. Provincial medical resources are already overstretched.

We can’t help but think that emptying Bangkok of workers and migrants has been a deliberate policy. Indeed, the authorities, including the military, have been providing free transport to send people “home.” Who can forget the lame-brained scheme propounded by Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin who proposed a “model” for local quarantine in rice fields “to accommodate native residents infected with COVID-19 and who develop mild symptoms.”

Since at least that time, Bangkok-based authorities have been exporting the infected to the provinces. This is a dangerous policy. Worse, it reflects the Bangkok-centric perspective of the regime. Is a reflection of racism and the mindset of a military and regime that considers provincials as potential political enemies?

Update: A reader reasonably suggests that sending people “home” is likely to become a massive “seeding” event, sending the virus everywhere. This effort to get rid of infected (now) “outsiders” is confirmed here.


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