According to a survey by Super Poll, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been less decisive this time around in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some 91% of respondents said they were disappointed with the prime minister for not taking action as decisively as he did to combat the first outbreak last year. The opinion survey was conducted from 5th – 8th January among 1,445 respondents nationwide.
When asked who is most to blame for the fresh wave of infections that occurred late last year, 98% said corrupt state officials were both the source of the problem and a hindrance to finding a solution.
Some officials are suspected of being involved in rackets to bring people from neighbouring countries into Thailand illegally to avoid health checks and quarantine.
The police were also in hot water after it was alleged some allowed gambling dens, where people can mingle and spread the disease, to operate under their watch. The respondents agreed the virus has spread fast and affected many partly because officials abused their authority.
On the question of what the prime minister should do, 98% said Gen Chan-o-cha should rein in the ministries responsible for containing the infection, including the Labour Ministry and the Interior Ministry, as the latest outbreak was traced to groups of migrant workers and gamblers.
Also, 96% of respondents said they were fed up with those in power paying lip service to repeated promises to root out underground casinos.
According to the poll, only 8% think state agencies have done their best to help curb the rising infections.
On expectations of the government’s wider role in national administration, 96% insisted bureaucratic reform was in order, with the prime minister, ministers, police and the labour agencies failing to act swiftly against trafficking gangs at fault for worsening the outbreak.
The survey also said the new outbreak showed the government’s weakening ability to maintain control.