CCSA spokesman clarifies threat of jail for not using MorChana app
Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin apologised on Thursday for sparking public uproar with his threat of prison for people who conceal their travel information.
Netizens vented anger after Taweesin announced that people might be jailed for not installing the MorChana contact-tracing app on their phones. Social media users pointed out that many people don’t have smartphones capable of running apps.
Taweesin responded by apologising for the confusion on his personal Facebook. He clarified that the legal penalty only applied to Covid-positive individuals in the 28 “red” provinces who have no records of travel, including on the MorChana app. The penalty – up to two years in jail and/or a maximum fine of Bt40,000 – would be strictly applied in the five locked down provinces of Samut Sakhon, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, he said.
The MorChana app identifies the Covid status of users according to four colour codes – from green for low risk to red for high risk – and tracks their location.
Popular Facebook medic Mor Lab Panda (aka Parkpoom Dejhutsadin) said on Thursday afternoon that Taweesin had assured him that Covid patients who do not own a smartphone will not face charges if they cooperate with health officials. Parkpoom said the CCSA just wanted to encourage people to install the application as a powerful tool to investigate and track timelines.