Thailand’s COVID-19 Response Top In SE Asia

Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul

Thailand ranks fifth among 195 countries in the 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index, leading Southeast Asia in terms of the quickest response to COVID-19.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would like to thank medical frontliners, other related parties and the Thai people for their cooperation in following the government’s COVID-19 measures.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thailand’s rank was an improvement on the 2019 GHS Index, when it placed sixth. This year, the country earned an average total of 68.2 points out of 100. In the category of rapid detection and reporting, it ranked No.1 (91.5 points), he said.

“The ranking reflects the effectiveness of the COVID-19 measures we have established in Thailand,” said Mr Charnvirakul.

The report, released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, with research by Economist Impact, measured the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics.

The United States topped the chart followed by Australia, Finland, Canada, Thailand, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea and Sweden.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand led followed by Singapore (24th), Malaysia (27th), Indonesia (45th), the Philippines (57th), Brunei (64th), Vietnam (65th), Myanmar (85th) and Laos (99th).

Although the government was pleased with the nation’s ranking, the data demonstrated that all countries including Thailand have insufficient health capacities over a longer duration, leaving the world acutely vulnerable to future health emergencies.

“COVID-19 offers a devastating illustration of how poor pandemic preparedness and response can impact health and security at every level — local, national and global,” said NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J Moniz.

“The stakes are high, and world leaders need to act. Biological risks are growing in frequency, and all countries need more investment in durable capabilities to address these risks.”

The GHS Index shows the foundational elements that leaders should prepare their countries for to avoid future outbreaks.