With Thailand struggling to deliver its worst coronavirus outbreak beneath management, Bangkok made it obligatory for residents to put on masks in public starting on Monday. One of many first to interrupt the brand new rule?

The nation’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was seen maskless at a authorities assembly in a photograph revealed on his official Fb web page.

As a first-time offender, he agreed to pay a positive of about $190. Bangkok’s governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, got here round with prime police officers on Monday to assist acquire it.

“I knowledgeable the prime minister this was a violation of the foundations,” the governor wrote on Fb. The {photograph} was faraway from the prime minister’s Fb web page.

For Mr. Prayuth, the gaffe is the least of his pandemic issues. His authorities has struggled to curb transmissions and been gradual to acquire vaccines. As infections ticked upward earlier this month, he determined to let Thais proceed to journey extensively throughout a serious vacation.

“No matter can be can be,” he mentioned then. “The federal government should strive to deal with that later.”

Now, his authorities is scrambling to obtain vaccines from a stretched international provide and speeding to arrange discipline hospitals at sports activities stadiums and different areas as many hospitals report being close to capability. Solely 0.3 % of the inhabitants has been totally vaccinated, in accordance with a New York Times database.

On Tuesday, the federal government reported 15 deaths, its highest every day complete for the reason that pandemic started, and greater than 2,000 new circumstances for the fifth day in a row. That brings Thailand’s complete for the pandemic to just about 60,000 circumstances and 163 deaths, in accordance with the federal government.

The numbers are low by international requirements; Thailand was among the many world’s leaders in containing the virus final yr. Practically 90 % of its circumstances have come since Jan. 1.

Many provinces have imposed their very own restrictions, together with Bangkok, which has ordered the closure of greater than 30 varieties of companies, akin to health facilities, cinemas, bars and therapeutic massage parlors. Eating places, malls and malls can proceed working however with restrictions.

Practically two-thirds of Thailand’s provinces have imposed fines for failing to put on a masks in public. The utmost penalty is about $635.