Crowd control police officer deployed at last Sunday’s major protest dispersal in Bangkok proves positive for Covid-19 Coronavirus, senior district official confirms today

Bangkok –

A police crowd control officer who was deployed at a protest dispersal at the First Infantry Regiment last Sunday initially tested positive for the Covid-19 Coronavirus, the Superintendant of Wangthonglang Police Station confirmed today, March 4th.

Police Colonel Ekaphop Tanprayoon from the Wangthonglang Police Station told the press that the infected officer, Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Somyot Kittcharoen, was locally quarantined at his house before being transferred to a local hospital, where he would be given another Covid-19 test for confirmation. If the result stayed positive, he would be isolated and treated at the hospital. Although he was deployed at a protest that involved hundreds of police and protesters, he reportedly mostly stayed inside a police vehicle being used to detain alleged law offenders.

According to his travel record given in a timeline to the medical staff at the hospital, the officer had returned to his hometown in Samut Sakhon (the epicenter of the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand and the only “highly-controlled” red zone in the country, although travel is not strictly banned to residents with permission) on February 18th and met up with friends in the neighborhood. One of his friends he met called him and reported that he was infected with Covid-19 on Tuesday. The police officer then sought a Covid-19 test and tested positive for the virus yesterday, March 3rd.

His timeline was revealed as follows:

18 February:
– Returned home to the Krathum Baen District, Samut Sakhon.
– Met a group of friends in which one of them was later tested positive as being infected with Covid-19.
– Returned to Bangkok

19 – 20 February:
– Performed duty at the National Assembly. Mostly stayed in a small detention police vehicle

21 – 22 February:
– Stayed at home on days off

23 – 24 February:
– Came to the police station for duty from 08:00 AM. – 4:00 PM.
– Directly returned home after duty

25 – 26 February:
– Came to the police station for duty from 04:00 PM. – 12:00 AM.
– Directly returned home after duty

27 February:
– Performed duties at the Welfare of Children and Women Center

28 February:
– Performed duty at the First Infantry Regiment, where a large crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators was gathering for a protest. Mostly stayed in a small detention police vehicle

1 March:
– Played football with his friends at MRTA’s Rama IX football field

2 March:
– A friend from Samut Sakhon called to report his own positive result of Covid-19.
– Sought a Covid-19 test at Ramkhamhaeng Hospital at around 3:30 P.M. and returned home for isolation at his police apartment. Informed his commanding officer.

3 March 3:
– Preliminary results proved positive, informed his commanders.

The superintendent stated that the police station was in the process of a big cleaning. All officers who were categorized in a close/risk contact with the infected officer were ordered for a 14-day quarantine at their apartments/homes under the supervision of medical officers. Covid-19 tests are being conducted on close contacts of the officer. The officer, as stated in his timeline, mostly stayed inside a police detention vehicle during the protest and did not have widespread contact with the bulk of protesters or police.

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