Chonburi officials ordered Pattaya to find shelters or quarantine facilities for homeless people camped out on sidewalks after photos of the vagrants spread across the internet.
Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai said at an April 14 meeting at the Chonburi Public Health Department that if no publicly-run shelters were available the city can use facilities offered by private charities. Alternately, new public-private partnerships can be formed with Pattaya’s mayor serving as chairman, the governor said.
Rather than address the plight of the city’s indigent, Pattaya merely kicked them off the beach to find other places to squat after Chonburi closed the shoreline to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Photos of homeless people sleeping in front of closed businesses, as well as efforts by shop owners to block them, went viral on the internet.
However, Pakarathorn stressed, any charities or groups offering meals or assistance to the poor or homeless still need to strictly follow social-distancing guidelines including temperature checks and wearing of face masks to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.