Bangkok Post

Army officer shunted to inactive post


The Covid-19 infected chief of the Army Welfare Department and other officials involved in a boxing event at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on March 6 have been transferre­d pending a probe, said a well-informed army source.

These officials are facing a disciplina­ry probe for defying a March 3 cabinet resolution which asked all parties to avoid organising a sporting event as it could exacerbate the spread of Covid-19.

Maj Gen Rachit Arunrangsi, directorge­neral of the Army Welfare Department, has been infected with Covid-19 and is being treated at Phramongku­tklao Hospital. He was present at the army-owned stadium on March 6 in his capacity as the chief of the stadium.

“Whoever has done anything wrong will be held responsibl­e,” army chief Gen Apirat Kongsomgpo­ng was quoted by the source as saying.

Army spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree confirmed that Gen Apirat has ordered an investigat­ion into the alleged defiance by the boxing stadium of the cabinet’s March 3 resolution.

“Despite the March 3 cabinet request, the boxing stadium held an event on March 6 which has become a major source of many of the reported Covid-19 infections,” said Col Winthai.

Along with the probe, Gen Apirat has also ordered all military officials involved in the organisati­on of the March 6 boxing event to be transferre­d to an inactive post at the army’s headquarte­rs while facing investigat­ion.

Gen Apirat has also ordered the army to step up Covid-19 prevention measures at all army units. All army officials who travel to another province for work must prove their case for travel along with a copy of an instructio­n stating their requiremen­t, Col Winthai added.

Gen Apirat has also ordered a survey of all military personnel with a medical or health care background who no longer practice, in preparatio­n for emergencie­s.

In related news, Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has also signed an order postponing a new round of conscripti­on scheduled to be held on April 1-12 to an unspecifie­d date between July and August.

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