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People playing poker, eating together in field hospital sparks outrage

A video clip of people in a Covid-19 field hospital eating together and playing cards without wearing masks has sparked a wave of criticism on social media.

The clip, which was posted on TikTok, drew condemnation from netizens, who said it showed that disease-control measures were too lax.

Responding to questions on Friday, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) warned that even people with mild or no symptoms must practise social distancing in field hospitals.

“Crowding together is undesirable because it can increase the spread of the virus,” said DDC acting director for emergency health hazards and disease control, Dr Chawetsan Namwat. “People should stay apart and wear a mask.”

He added that the purpose of field hospitals is to isolate and treat people as fast as possible. Cases are assessed daily and if symptoms such as coughing develop, patients are isolated for more intensive treatment.

Chawetsan also asked the public to trust health officials’ ability to manage the situation.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul downplayed criticism over the video clip, saying people in field hospitals were isolated from the public and may need ways of relieving stress.


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