WESTERN tourists who don’t wear face masks have attracted anger from government officials in Thailand.
The country’s Public Health Minister has suggested that holidaymakers from Europe who are continuing to travel without covering their mouths should be kicked out of the country.
Free masks have been handed out in busy areas of Bangkok over the last week, in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
But according to Anutin Charnvirakul, white visitors have continued to walk around barefaced.
Thai website the Thaiger reported the minister as saying: “They don’t care about the big picture. They don’t have any consideration to the situation.
“Non-compliant behaviours of foreigners should be reported to embassies”.
“All farangs [white tourists], those tourists… that’s something the embassies should be notified about.”
He continued: “We’re handing them out and they still refuse. They need to be kicked out of Thailand.
We’re giving the masks to them and they still refuse.
“The Chinese, the Asians… they are all taking the masks, but those Europeans… that’s unbelievable.”
The holiday destination is a top foreign destination for tourists from Wuhan and panic is starting to spread.
The Thai government estimates around 22,000 tourists from Wuhan visited the country in January, possibly exposing vast numbers of people to the virus.
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Thailand now has 32 confirmed cases and has increased health screenings across the country.
However, the country’s proximity to China and its popularity as a tourist destination for Chinese visitors means it’s seen as a high risk destination by some.
Thailand was the first country to confirm a coronavirus case on January 12, and is currently the worst affected nation outside of China.
The country’s health minister Anutin Charnvirakul previously admitted the country “is not able to stop the spread” of the virus because there are so many Chinese travellers there.
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