The police used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators in Bangkok.
In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the police used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons on the protesters because the protesters ignored the COVID-19 restrictions and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan Oucha.
The protest took place on Sunday because the kingdom is currently facing the worst wave of COVID-19 infections, and because hospitals are overwhelmed under pressure, case records are recorded every day.
The slow pace of government procurement of vaccines has exacerbated the losses, which has attracted criticism as the Thai economy is subject to stricter corporate restrictions.
The protesters ignored the regulations prohibiting gatherings of more than five people and piled up mock body bags painted with red paint near the crossroads of the Democracy Monument in the capital.
“If we stay at home, we will die of COVID-19, which is why we have to come out,” shouted a protest organizer, who listed three requirements.
“Prayuth Chan-ocha must resign unconditionally; the second is to reduce the budget of the monarchy and the army to fight the new coronavirus, and the third is to introduce mRNA vaccines.”
A huge banner with a picture of Prayut, the planner of the 2014 coup d’état, was opened on the road, and the protesters stomped his face.
When they marched in the Governor’s Mansion, a group of people wearing gas masks and hard hats led them, and a motorcycle driver holding up a mock body bag joined them.
However, the authorities deployed water cannons in advance and blocked the main road, forcing the protesters to retreat.
The police also fired rubber bullets and tear gas. It caused the protesters to disperse, coughing ceaselessly as they tried to flush their eyes with saline.
By the evening, when the gas cloud rose in the sky, the two sides had already confronted each other. It is not clear how many people were injured.
The cost of the pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Thailand has recorded 403,000 coronavirus cases and 3,341 deaths.
The number of new infections on Sunday set a single-day record — more than 11,000 — and Saturday’s death toll hit a record high with 141 deaths.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said on Sunday that domestic flights between Bangkok and the Thai government-listed provinces at high risk of COVID-19 will be suspended from July 21.
The announcement stated that medical flights, emergency landing aircraft and flights related to the government’s tourism reopening plan are excluded.
Other domestic battles can only be flown at 50% capacity.