On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) praised Thailand’s unity as being the key to success in surviving the COVID-19 pandemic at its peak early this year, while Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul vowed the war against COVID-19 was not yet over.
WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the unity of all public and social sectors in Thailand and its intensive and extensive health and social measures enabled the country to succeed in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He was speaking at an online address to a national health assembly meeting held by the National Health Commission Office (NHCO).
Thailand’s health assembly is a powerful example of how important decisions could be made at the national level with public participation being ensured and public trust generated, the WHO chief said.
This kind of trust is crucial in a crisis, he said, adding the success story from Thailand would be included in the WHO’s manual for building national health security in other parts of the world.
While waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine and acknowledging the war against the new virus isn’t over yet, health measures including social distancing were considered to be a highly effective “social vaccine” against COVID-19, Mr Charnvirakul said.
While more than 73 million people worldwide were infected with COVID-19, only 4,200 infections were recorded in Thailand, the minister said.
Since 1st October, only 18 local infections of COVID-19 have been recorded in the country while about a thousand others were imported cases, he said.
This success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic came despite the fact that Thailand was feared to become the second-largest COVID-19 hotspot after China, he said.
This success came from the ability of doctors, nurses, health care workers, local organisations, the private sector and all Thais, he said.
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