COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand

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COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand
COVID-19 outbreak Thailand per capita cases map.svg
Map of provinces with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases (as of 6 May).
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationThailand
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseSuvarnabhumi Airport
Arrival date13 January 2020
(6 months, 2 weeks and 2 days)
Confirmed cases3,018[1]
Suspected cases107,830
Severe cases61
Recovered2,850[1]
Deaths
56[1]
Government website
ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Thailand on 13 January 2020, when the first case outside China was announced.[2]

Cases[change | change source]

The first reported local transmission was confirmed on 31 January.[3] The number of cases remained low throughout February, with forty confirmed by the end of the month. Cases had a sharp increase in mid-March.[4] Confirmed cases rose to over a hundred per day over the following week, and public areas and businesses were ordered to close in Bangkok and several other provinces.[5]

Response[change | change source]

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency, beginning on 26 March.[6] A curfew has been announced, beginning on 3 April 2020.[7]

The Thai government's response to the outbreak was based on surveillance and tracing. Temperature and symptom screening for coronavirus testing was added at international airports, as well as at hospitals for patients with travel or contact history.[8]

Ads were introduced focused on self-monitoring for at-risk groups, practicing hygiene (especially hand washing), and avoiding crowds (or wearing masks if not possible).[9]

While residents returning from high-risk countries were encouraged to self-quarantine, travel restrictions were not announced until 5 March, when four countries were designated as "disease-infected zones".[10][11][12]

Criticism[change | change source]

The government has been criticized for its slow response to the crisis. In early February, in response to concerns over hoarding and price increase of face masks, the government issued price controls.[13] The move failed to prevent shortages among hospitals, and became a scandal.[14][15][16] Criticism was also for the slow response to end foreign travel.[17][18]

Background[change | change source]

On 12 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, who had initially come to the attention of the WHO on 31 December 2019.[19][20]

Unlike SARS of 2003, the case fatality ratio for COVID-19 [21][22] has been much lower, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[23][21]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "COVID-19 Dashboard USA". COVID-19 Dashboard.
  2. Cheung, Elizabeth (13 January 2020). "Thailand confirms first case of Wuhan virus outside China". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. "สธ.แถลง พบคนขับแท็กซี่ ติดไวรัสโคโรน่า เป็นคนไทยรายแรก ไม่มีประวัติไปจีน" [MOPH announces taxi driver infected with coronavirus; first Thai case with no records of travelling to China]. Thairath Online (in Thai). 31 January 2020. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. "ผู้ป่วยโควิด-19 ในไทย ปะทุจากผับกทม.4 ย่านดัง- สนามมวยแพร่ไป 9 จ." [COVID-19 cases in Thailand surge; spreads from four major Bangkok-area entertainment districts – boxing stadiums to 9 provinces]. Krungthep Turakij (in Thai). 20 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. "กทม.และ 5 จังหวัด ประกาศปิดห้างกับ 25 สถานที่ (คลิป)" [Bangkok and five other provinces close malls and 25 other locations (with clip)]. Thairath Online (in Thai). 22 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  6. The Standard Team (24 March 2020). "นายกฯ ประกาศใช้ พ.ร.ก. ฉุกเฉิน คุมโควิด-19 มีผล 26 มี.ค. ย้ำยังไม่ประกาศเคอร์ฟิวห้ามออกนอกบ้าน" [PM declares state of emergency effective 26 March in response to COVID-19; maintains there is no curfew yet]. The Standard (in Thai). Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  7. "Curfew starts today". Bangkok Post. 3 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  8. "รายงานข่าวกรณีโรคปอดอักเสบจากเชื้อไวรัสโคโรนาสายพันธุ์ใหม่ 2019 (Novel Coronavirus;2019-nCoV) ประจำวันที่ 1 กุมภาพันธ์ 2563" [Report of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation in Thailand, 1 February 2020] (in Thai). 1 February 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020 – via Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.
  9. "สธ.ยกระดับควบคุมป้องกันโรค ประกาศคำเตือนระดับ 3 หลีกเลี่ยงเดินทางไปพื้นที่ระบาด" [MOPH ramps up disease control measures; issues level 3 warning to avoid areas with ongoing transmission]. The Bangkok Insight (in Thai). 31 January 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  10. "4 ประเทศกลุ่มเสี่ยงเข้าไทยต้องมี "ใบรับรองแพทย์"" [Arrivals from 4 high-risk coutries required to present "medical certificates"]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 9 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  11. "ประกาศสกัดโควิด-19 ต่างชาติเข้าไทยต้องมีใบรับรองแพทย์-ประกันภัยแสนเหรียญ" [To curb COVID-19, foreigners arriving in Thailand now required to possess medical certificate – 100,000 USD health insurance]. Thairath Online (in Thai). 19 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  12. "Covid-19: Thailand's strict new entry requirements take effect". New Straits Times. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  13. "ประกาศราชกิจจาฯ 'หน้ากากอนามัย-เจลล้างมือ' สินค้าควบคุม 1 ปี" [New regulations imposed on 'face masks – hand gels' to remain in effect for one year]. Krungthep Turakij (in Thai). 4 February 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  14. "'จุรินทร์'รับกำลังผลิตหน้ากากอนามัยไม่เพียงพอ" ['Churin' admits production capacity of face masks still not enough]. Daily News (in Thai). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  15. "หน้ากากอนามัยไม่เพียงพอ สธ.แนะคนไม่ป่วยให้ใส่หน้ากากผ้า" [In face of mask shortage, MOPH advises the healthy to wear cloth masks]. Workpoint News (in Thai). 5 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  16. Rojanaphruk, Pravit (9 March 2020). "Minister's Aide Accused of Hoarding, Selling Millions of Masks to China". Khaosod English. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  17. "คนไทยในต่างแดนฟ้องศาลปกครองสั่งยกเลิกใบ Fit to Fly" [Thais living abroad file petition with Administrative Court to rescind fit-to-fly order]. BBC Thai (in Thai). 27 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  18. "มึน กทม. "ยกเลิกข่าว" ปิดห้าง22วัน" [Confusion ensues as Bangkok authorities "cancel" news release of 22-day mall shutdown]. Thansettakij (in Thai). 21 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  19. Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  20. Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  22. "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  23. "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.