The Department of Disease Control (DDC) is stepping up action against people involved with the birthday party of DJ and actor Techin Ploypetch, also known as “DJ Matoom” after more COVID-19 infections were linked to the event.
Celebrities are facing more pressure to be transparent and announce their full timelines before they tested positive for COVID-19.
DJ Matoom is himself in hospital being treated for COVID-19, with some media reports making reference to a “super spreader” and efforts allegedly made to conceal his infection.
The DDC has asked the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to prosecute infected people who conceal their timelines.
Apisamai Srirangsun, an assistant spokeswoman of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), announced the department’s move on Thursday.
At the same time, she updated the number of COVID-19 cases linked to the celebrity DJ’s illegal party bash, saying there were now 26 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 113 at-risk people.
Another 53 were considered at low risk of infection but the figures could rise, she said.
“These people at high and low risk have visited many places, including hotels and restaurants. Disease control officials are concerned because the information from these people is inconsistent, even though they visited the same places. Some even concealed information,” Dr Srirangsun said.
“The disease could spread farther, and it could be too late to control it.”
The Disease Control Department told the BMA that people who concealed information were breaking several laws, including the Communicable Disease Act, the Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations to control COVID-19, and the Criminal Code for giving false information to officials.
Legal action could be taken against those in charge of Techin’s party for violating the ban on crowded gatherings, as well as partygoers, who also breached the state of emergency.
Such offences carried a prison term of up to two years and/or a fine of 40,000 baht, Dr Srirangsun said, pointing out that the case would be handled in a way that would be a lesson for future habits, urban lifestyles and COVID-19 control.
Meanwhile, a police officer who tested positive for the virus told the media that he had fully informed officials about his timeline and wondered why the BMA had said he was concealing the information.