Coronavirus in Thailand, part 2

I first wrote about what’s happening with COVID-19 in Thailand here. Here in the USA, we’re reopening in lots of states as Trump has encouraged states to do so in order to jumpstart the economy and help his reelection bid. Thanks to the lack of support financially and otherwise, many states have little choice but to try to reopen to stave off their worsening economic situation. Thailand, too, is reopening and some lakorns have started filming again, so there are a number of good news to share about Thailand and COVID-19.

The government has imposed a curfew, banning all people nationwide from leaving their homes from 10pm to 4am starting tonight, in its latest move to contain the spread of coronavirus.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1891910/curfew-starts-today#cxrecs_s

As I write this in June 2020, currently Thailand has only 3,125 COVID-19 cases, with 58 reported deaths (according to this site). I wrote before about their containment measures, a nationwide curfew, governors taking charge of lockdown and even that the government was clamping down on criticism of their response to the coronavirus, according to this article.

Public and private establishments were closed throughout the country except for hospitals, drug stores, supermarkets, takeout places, and other essential services.

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
Photo by Natasha Spencer on Pexels.com

As in most other countries, public health authorities very early on discarded mass testing, saying they did not have the resources to conduct this. In its place, they put into effect an aggressive strategy of contact tracing, quarantining those testing positive, hospitalizing those with serious symptoms, and requiring international travelers arriving from “dangerous communicable disease areas” to self-isolate or, in some cases, be confined to government quarantine centers.

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

But according to a new article I read, along with Thailand’s partial lockdown, it is Thailand’s health care system which has been the key reason why Thailand has been so successful.

A critical role was played by village health volunteers (VHVs) in flattening the spread of COVID-19 at the community level.

(Snip)…the battle against the pandemic was led by public health authorities deploying a strategy of persuading people to use face masks and hand sanitizers, observe social distancing, and stay at home. As noted above, much of this work was carried out at the grassroots level by hundreds of thousands of village health volunteers.

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

One theory floating around about why most Asian countries have been so successful in COVID19 response is that it is the authoritarian regime in China and other Asian places that made containment of COVID19 succeed, but this article contends that theory, and I agree, that it was the government giving authority up to the public health officials that really made the difference. The article also goes on to point out that ~90% of the people wore masks and did so right from start of pandemic, and people trust in the health care system there.

 (snip) …the fact of the matter is that the 18-year-old universal healthcare program has become the cornerstone of that relationship of trust between the public health system and the people that came into play when COVID-19 came on the scene

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Last, I don’t want to give the impression that this all happened and everything is and was just fine and dandy. Curfew breakers were arrested, the government curtailed free speech regarding criticism of their actions at times, and some foreigners experienced prejudice and more. There are also reports of people not following curfew and of businesses ignoring government regulations. But for now it does seem like Thailand is on the right track in fighting COVID19. Now, if only I could say the same of the USA.

Lakornland

The music scene in Thailand is busy with a number of songs out about COVID-19, some of them with rather depressing lyrics. Of course, lakorn celebrities such as Mik Tongraya and Bow Maylada have joined in on the fun and have their own mv.

As for lakorns, shooting has already resumed for a number of lakorns, with guidelines in place. This article is in Thai, but it talks about the restrictions put in place. Temperature screenings, areas disinfected, social distancing, masks and face shields, not to mention limiting the amount of people in an area are some of the restrictions in place. I’ve heard that some lakorns are trying to rush and finish filming and I’m just hoping they’re being careful. Be safe out there!