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Thai authorities condemn volunteer health worker seen spraying passengers with 'disinfectant'

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A health worker was seen spraying commuters with disinfectant as they queued for a bus in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday (March 11).

The practice was carried out by volunteer health worker Somsak Sripetch, who has been travelling around the capital with a team amidst the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

However, government officials have complained about the over-zealous volunteer. District boss Rujira Arintr has now ordered the well-intentioned volunteer to stop his actions immediately.

She said: "We have received reports that he has been there spraying people for five days but he did not officially ask for permission from the district office.

"We want him to stop his spraying immediately not just because he has no permission but also because we do not know what disinfectant he uses, perhaps it was not standardized."

Seventy people have been infected with coronavirus in Thailand with one death since the outbreak began.

Earlier today it emerged that 11 Thais have been diagnosed with the disease after they shared a glass for drinks and passed around the same cigarette at a recent party.

Health Ministry Secretary General Sukhum Kanchanapimai said the revellers were part of a group of 15 people, including a Chinese national from Hong Kong, who were partying in the capital.

Officials said they did not know if the traveller who arrived from Hong Kong had the virus but they confirmed it was the largest group infection of the virus reported in Thailand so far.

The country yesterday cancelled visa on arrivals for 18 countries and visa exemption for three others to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The 18 places are: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.

Visa exemption will be cancelled for South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said.

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