Thailand Tourism Minister puts foot in mouth about Coronavirus

in #thailandlast year

Just when you think that this guy's gaffes couldn't get any worse he decided to have a little chat with the press about the future of tourism in Thailand and how the Coronavirus is just a temporary setback that people really shouldn't be worried about.

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I actually agree with him about this being a temporary setback. The controls are in place and the only thing remaining is time. How much time we are actually talking about people can only speculate. When we start talking about viruses and the spread of disease I think that any sort of official opinion should likely be left in the hands of scientists and doctors rather than political appointees such as Pipat Ratchakitprakan.

He applauded China's efforts in containing the virus as well as other nations' efforts in doing the same thing, including Thailand's. This is all great and it appeared as though he was operating off of a script for the press conference. Then something magically stupid happened and dude was definitely getting a bit too comfortable and perhaps forgot that he is operating in the official capacity of the country when he said:

Covid-19 will not be able to withstand the heat in many countries -- including Thailand.

He predicted that all of the tourism woes that are going on right now where there is a near 50% decrease in tourism and a near 90% decrease in Chinese tourists that the country banks very heavily on, will all magically be fixed when the hot season hits Thailand and kills the virus because it will simply be far to sunny and humid. Unfortunately for Mr. Ratchakitprakan, that is not how viruses work.

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It is a commonly held belief in Thailand that if you become cold, or even worse, wet AND cold, you are definitely going to get sick. In the hands of someone that believes this nonsense, the idea that outdoor heat would "kill" a virus might be a reasonable explanation and Canadians and Norweigians are only alive because of black magic.

I think the minister was hoping that his words would only reach Thai people. However, because Thailand is in the spotlight, this press conference made international news... and not in a good way.

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I don't think you need to have an expert level in science to realize that viruses generally thrive in hot and humid environments and the temperature levels required in order to "kill" a virus is normally the same level (around 121 degrees C) that would also kill people and set things on fire... basically, a lot hotter than hot season in Thailand.

I realize that he is saying this to simply reassure people about the fact that so many people's lives have been turned upside down by the near absence of a tourist season this year and I commend him for trying to put people at ease. This country does depend on tourism for nearly 20% of their GDP.

He started his talk about how the government was going to step in to supplement workers and businesses that were affected by this (I wouldn't hold your breath on this actually happening but ok, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.)

However, I think maybe it might be a good idea to just focus on what you know - which we presume is tourism - and leave the science talk to people that actually know something about science.

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The funny thing is, I think that is still a common misconception here too. How many times are we told not to go out without a coat on because we will catch a cold. Obviously this guy took it quite a few steps beyond that in a very public forum. It is funny though that even though we all know better, we still hold on to and pass along this misinformation. I guess technically you could maybe get some form of pneumonia, but I am not even sure that is accurate. Meanwhile Vietnam is just sitting over there laughing and keeping their mouths shut. Bring em on, we have plenty of room!

Misinformation travels very fast it seems. That's something consistent all over the world.

Haha.... yes... it was cringeworthy!! The ignorance & superstitions beggar belief, some days. Ploi (my daughter) korean BF is on 14 days home quarantine cos his housemate went to a funeral in Seoul last week. The stupid bit? Both boys had happily attended school for 5 days after his return. Horses & bolting comes to mind. LOL.

You are far more likely to contract dangerous & contagious Hepatitis, or TB, in TH than covid-19.

Sigh. Another day in paradise.

He should have said the virus was specifically made to target East Asians so South East Asians should be safe. That would have been more convincing. For certain reason, viruses do spread quicker in colder climate and in more densely populated cities such as in China. The reason Canadians and Scandinavians are not affected too much as they enjoy living further apart from each other - spread out. If one dies alone in one's home due to old age, burglary, accident or whatever, probably the body will only be discovered like a month later. You get the idea. When Scandinavians are in public transports, they sit like at least a meter away from each other. It's frown upon to sit next to another Scandinavian when there are empty seats around.

i'm sure that what you said in the first sentence is something he has considered. I wonder if his advisers are sitting in the wings just like "oh my god, stop talking!!!"

I'm with the Scandis on this one, I always look for empty seats and rather than sit next to a stranger on a train or something I will often just stand :)

Check my last post 💪

My girl and I are planning on flying back to Thailand from Danang in about two weeks, spend a little time in Bangkok then go island hopping. I heard the numbers and outbreak of cases are total BS in Bangkok and Thailand in general. How bad do you think it is? Should I be concerned about catching ...as I like to call it, the WOOOOHAN!

I'm thinking Bangkok is the place most likely to catch it if things are actually on the rise there. United Arab Emerits just banned travel to Thailand for their citizens due to the virus. Do they know something we don't. What do you think?

i tend to not worry about these kind of things because I have fantastic insurance that pays me more money than I actually earn if i am ever hospitalized. Therefore, since the recovery rate is pretty good if you do contract it, I have taken exactly zero precautions. Plus as long as my dog gets taken care of if Woohan! does get me, at least I don't have to pay taxes anymore!

In all seriousness, I wouldn't expect the government to be honest about anything. I think UAE might be reacting to the virus the same way that Thailand did to it by closing flights to / from any country that has a population with Chinese heritage.

But who knows? Maybe more information will come out in the next couple weeks.

I need some insurance like that! haha. Treatment for almost everything is so cheap in this part of the world I'm not concerned either. The only precautions I've taken is to change our destination to Danang and fly out from there instead of Hanoi, that was just after they locked down that town 40kl outside of Hanoi. I got nervous if it was going to spread in Vietnam it would go to Hanoi first. In fact I just heard that all 16 of 16 cases i Vietnam have been cured. If you can believe that......

On another note I heard that Kuwait just prohibited it's people to go to Thailand also. But whatever.....The gooddream's opinion is what I asked for. Thanks for sharing. I'll be in touch!

What an absolute fool. i remember is other gaffe a few weeks ago as well. One cannot put a time limit on this as it seems to be spreading even with the restrictions. My post today has a time lapse video which is quite scary.

They are not even close it seems as a few days ago they were asking for blood from people or bone marrow (can't remember which one) that have beaten the virus. Obviously they are looking for anti bodies or something that can help solve the cure.

might be a reasonable explanation and Canadians and Norweigians are only alive because of black magic.

Hmmmmmnnnnnnn…. A suspicion worth pondering...

When I see cases like this I'm always wondering how on earth can someone do such a thing. I understand he didn't want to create panic and wanted to reassure people that everything is going to be fine but this is the 21th century, information travels fast and no one is so stupid to believe him over the experts.
His credibility has just dropped dramatically. How can you believe a person like him after what he's just said?

i don't think people do believe him and mostly I wouldn't have heard about this article at all if the guy wasn't being very closely monitored because the media is like "what sort of crazy shit is this guy going to say next?"

We have a few of these in our country every election but they don't last long as people are watching and they bring the party down.
The press is watching even closer and these mistakes stick to them and are mentioned all the time when their names come up.

I hope he's going to be kicked out as health is an important department, there's no room for people like him. He should be the smartest of all.

You know the thing that is confusing me about all of this is that so many people are running around wearing surgical masks like they are somehow going to prevent them from getting a virus.

Those masks are designed to protect the user against large slashes of blood and fluids, such that you'd be exposed to while operating on a patient... They do nothing to help against airborne pathogens.

I guess it gives people a false sense of security, but the downside is that they are saying there might be a shortage of masks at some point for actual surgeons. I hope that is an exaggeration, but who knows!

I hear many people say exactly what you are talking about and these are exactly the sort of masks that the government are handing out for free that got another one of the ministers so worked up that the foreigners didn't want them.

Lately people have been buying the 3m masks that actually would protect you although I can't say to what degree since I see people taking them off all the time in public to do things like eat and drink.

I mean, maybe the heavy duty masks help. But they will have to wear goggles as well because the virus can land on their eyes just as easily as entering through the nose.

Maybe I am being too insensitive because there is an element of feeling safe which can contribute to reduction in public anxiety.

If you rephrase the post title to "Thailand Government official talks out of his ass because his foot is in his mouth", it actually still captures the point. Also, if you replace Thailand with "Nigeria" in the title, it also makes sense because our dumb ass politicians have been mouthing off about how"we're ready" for the event that the virus somehow finds its way into Nigeria. I hope that never happens because that shit will probably kill half the population before we do anything about it.
Well, just stay safe out there and lets hope things get sorted out but in the main time, you could check out Joker, it's a pretty dope movie that I encourage you to watch while avoiding Corona lol.



Oh man, that was pretty bad. Yes, leave the virus talk to the professionals for sure. I hope the government steps in to help those that depend on tourism for their income.

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