Monk on a mission: Bangkok monk dons PPE suit to tend to his flock
Disturbed by people’s suffering, a Buddhist monk decided to don a PPE suit and start travelling around Bangkok to conduct Covid-19 tests and help patients in severe condition.
The monk said he always wore his saffron robes under the PPE suit during the operation, though he admitted not many people realise there is a monk under the suit.
During their daily patrol, Phra Maha Phrom Phong and his team carry food, milk, medical equipment, pulse oximeters, medicine and rapid test kits. If the monk or his team finds patients in a severe condition, they provide treatment or even move them to waiting centres.
“Some of the severe patients we have seen did not have an oxygen tank and many of them have died because they could not breathe,” he added.
Phra Maha Phrom Phong, the assistant abbot of Wat Sutthi Wararam temple in Yan Nawa area, and his 15 trusty assistants have been patrolling the 10-kilometre radius of his temple twice a day –10.30am and 3.30pm – daily since July 21.
The assistant abbot said his temple has also built a 122-bed waiting centre since July 17, with nurses and volunteers at hand to take care of patients.
He said he could not bear to see the people who offered him alms every day die from Covid-19, adding that his temple has already cremated 50 corpses of patients who succumbed to the virus.
The monk said he bought rapid test kits, which cost 300-350 baht each, with donations from other monks.
“If I could ask for something from the government, I would ask that people be vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said. “We should offer walk-in services at all public health centres. I want everyone to have access to a jab. If everybody gets a jab, the problem will be solved at the root.”
The monk said his mission requires more oxygen tanks and rapid test kits. Those wishing to donate can call (061) 729 5995 or (02) 211 1564.