Pattaya’s mayor blamed the city’s skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases on “restaurants” that ignored disease-control rules, but the fault squarely lies with his city hall.
In Pattaya, “restaurants” is code for bars open either illegally or by using flimsy certifications and licenses to operate as eateries, often with no kitchen on the premises or no pretense of food service.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome on Friday blamed these places and their lack of capacity limits, social distancing and coronavirus testing for the current outbreak. But city hall was in charge of licensing, inspection and enforcement, so the mayor can spot who is to blame by looking at the officials responsible.
Sonthaya defended his string of weekly festivals, including the Pattaya Countdown, claiming none of the infections came from there.
The fact is, relatively few people attended this year’s countdown due to excessive disease controls. And those who did came from other provinces and would report positive Covid-19 tests there.
Faced with exploding numbers of cases – Pattaya saw another 374 cases on Saturday, taking the week’s total to nearly 2,500 – city officials are looking to shift the blame to someone else.
But no one else sits in the mayor’s chair.