Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Doctors warn Thailand unprepared for Stage 3 virus outbreak

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Doctors are warniing that Thailand is unprepared in case of a dramtic escalation of the Covid-19 coronavirus - The Times

The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is still only at the second stage in Thailand, permanent secretary for public health Sukhum Kanchanapimai said yesterday, meaning the spread is still limited and mostly confined to overseas returnees, foreigners from affected countries and those in close contact with either group. But an association of doctors is warning that the nation might not be equipped for a rise to Stage 3, the highest level, a full-blown epidemic, and is slamming the government’s “slow response” to the spread of the disease.

In an emotionally charged warning on its Facebook page, the Thoracic Society of Thailand said that this week’s rise in the number of cases, particularly those attributed to local transmission, indicates that the country is beginning to enter Stage 3.

The society says it has tried to alert agencies involved of the need for preparations.

“And though there is a degree of response, this is still not enough to deal with this major health crisis.

In Stage 3, all hospitals, whether public or private must identify all patients with Covid-19 infections and isolate them to cut the rate of transmission.

The society also criticised government agencies responsible for combating the virus:

“The virus outbreak has shown that state mechanisms designed to respond to national crises are always one step behind.

“But this does not dampen the spirit of medical professionals who will not surrender to these tiny enemies. We will not bow to those in high places who lack expertise and do not understand how we work. Now is the time for us to prepare for war even if there are no efficient weapons or decisive commanders.”

Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Health Service Support Department, says that the department issued an order, effective from March 5, prohibiting private hospitals from turning away emergency cases of Covid-19 infection. If it’s necessary to refer patients elsewhere, they must ensure transport is arranged properly and must not let patients travel to seek treatment themselves.

Sukhum also stressed the need for China to get back to its normal production of medical supplies, especially masks and other necessary items to fight against the epidemic. He said the Thai government has already asked China for 180 million surgical masks, one million N95 medical masks and a million protective medical uniforms.

He also said that all hospitals under the ministry’s control will receive N95 medical masks and other necessary protective uniforms today, and that the government will provide full support to all medical staff fighting against the disease, including extra pay.

The emergency operation centre under the Disease Control Department has compiled a report which suggests that Thailand remains unlikely to enter Stage 3, as the existing measures can still theoretically control the spread of the virus.

However, the Isara News agency quoted the report as urging that social distancing, especially a ban on mass gatherings, should be implemented in eight high-risk provinces, including Bangkok, this month.

If proactive measures are not urgently put in place, the report warns, infections may reach a point where they can no longer be controlled and the number of patients could reach 2,250 by May.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport6 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand7 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand8 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime8 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of9 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand10 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket12 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8