Thailand’s Ministry of Health says a face mask survey conducted during Songkran reveals that more than 90% of Thailand’s population wear face masks in public spaces. However, a further 5-10% ‘refused’ to wear face masks, saying they are ‘uncomfortable’.
The Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, Ekkachai Piensiwatchara, reported that 5-10% of the Thai population do not wear face masks in public (The Thaiger notes that this trend is not apparent around central Bangkok, where it is indeed rare to see a Thai, or anyone for that matter, not wearing a mask in public).
The authority explained that some of the respondents who were unaware of wearing face masks in public said they “didn’t worry about the risk of getting infected” and “felt uncomfortable” wearing them, especially during the hot season (and it’s been a HOT hot season this year).
Other respondents noted that they and their families had been infected before and had ‘nothing to worry about’.
Ekkachai said this was a misunderstanding as everyone remained at risk of being infected with different variants of Covid-19. He insisted that people should wear face masks when gathering in groups whether they have already been infected with Covid or not. He also urged people to continue washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
Wearing face masks in public is still a requirement under Thailand’s emergency decree. The emergency decree is in place at least until the end of May. Different provincial public relations departments are also encouraging residents to continue wearing face masks when they go out.
The government has launched the Thailand Prevention Project, which disseminates information and suggestions about Covid-19 to Thais via videos. A video shared on the official Phuket province Facebook page suggests people should keep their masks on before they even go home. The images also recommend family members to wear masks at home, if there are more than 2 members in the family.
THE SOURCE: News of the day | Phuket Provincial Public Relations Department