Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has become one of the first few people to be fined 6,000 baht (S$250) in Bangkok for not wearing a mask after the city made it compulsory to do so on Apr. 26, Reuters reported.
In a Facebook post put up on the same day, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang said that he had filed a report with the police against the Prime Minister after he saw a photo of him unmasked while meeting with vaccine procurement advisers.The photo was posted on Prayuth's own Facebook account, but it has since been removed.
PM personally charged by governor and police chief
Aswin further highlighted that he had headed down to Bangkok's Government House with the police chief to personally charge and fine Prayuth, to which the Prime Minister consented.
Under Bangkok's new mandatory mask-wearing rule, violators can be fined up to 20,000 baht (S$845) for failing to wear a mask — a point Aswin said he conveyed to Prayuth, who asked what he had done wrong.
However, the law also allows police officers to consider a lower amount for the fine — 6,000 baht (S$250) for a first-time offence, 12,000 baht (S$510) for the second and 20,000 baht (S$845) for the third time onwards.
As such, Prayuth's fine was determined to be 6,000 baht (S$250) by investigators.
Thailand experiencing a third wave of Covid-19
The new rules come amidst a third wave of Covid-19 in Thailand, with 8,175 new cases recorded thus far since it began earlier this month, the Bangkok Post further reported.
It also makes Bangkok the 46th province in the country to mandate the wearing of masks.
On April 25, Bangkok recorded 1,075 new cases of Covid-19, out of 2,438 new cases across the country.
11 deaths were also recorded nationwide, with one of them being a 32-year-old woman who was 25-weeks pregnant.
Top image via Thai Government House