Gambling Den Worker Dies From COVID-19 & Rayong Police Chief Fired Over Outbreak

COVID-19 Rayong

A worker at the gambling den in Rayong province has died, the first COVID-19 death in Thailand in 2 months, bringing the fatalities to 61.

The man, 45, who facilitated parking and traffic at the gambling den, had existing conditions — ischemic heart disease and diabetes, Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutecha wrote on Facebook on Monday evening.

The casino worker’s death was Thailand’s first virus fatality since 5th November, taking the total to 61 since the outbreak began in January.

He tested positive on Sunday. By early Monday, he had difficulty breathing and was taken to a hospital on his friend’s sidecar. He stopped breathing on the way.

Doctors at the hospital tried in vain for 30 minutes to save his life, Mr Pitutecha wrote.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration also on Monday evening ordered closures of service places under Section 3 of the 1966 Service Places Act such as places where food and drinks are served or provide live music, karaokes with hostesses or dancing, which close after 12 am.

To minimise impacts, such places may continue to open if they serve food only within the allowed period, limit number of patrons and observe distancing, said BMA spokesperson Pol Capt Pongsakorn Kwangmuang.

Rayong’s police chief has been transferred after scores of COVID-19 infections were linked to an illegal gambling den in this coastal province, national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk said yesterday.

Pol Maj Gen Paphatdet Ketphan, commander of the Rayong police, was ordered transferred to the Royal Thai Police’s Command Centre, which ends his duty as the chief of Rayong police, said Pol Gen Jangyodsuk,

The order was made after the Rayong governor, Channa Iamsaeng, revealed that 85 people had contracted the virus from a gambling house in Muang district. Rayong police insisted the venue wasn’t a permanent gambling house, rather an underground, secret gathering which they had no knowledge of before.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections rose by 56 yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 151, a source said yesterday.

The source added hundreds of people flocked to a temporary COVID-19 testing centre set up near the province’s main sports stadium yesterday, to book an appointment to get tested.

The centre can test up to 300 people per day and the centre was fully booked yesterday, the source said, adding most people who sought the test had been in close contact with individuals who had visited the gambling house.

Meanwhile, Pol Col Phratsarut Watcharathanayothin, chief of Muang district police, led a group of reporters to inspect the gambling house, which is located in an alley next to Rayong’s old bus terminal.

Pol Col Watcharathanayothin insisted the place was not a permanent casino, as reported by the media.

However, some netizens have posted on the social media pictures taken from Google Map’s street view of the warehouse, which showed it was previously equipped with at least four security cameras on the outside.

These pictures have raised questions as to why not a single camera was there when the police raided the place. The place had been stripped bare of cameras, netizens remarked yesterday.