Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Former Deputy PM stresses need for more testing, emulating South Korean model

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Former deputy prime minister Dr Surapong Seubwonglee - Prachathai

“Test, test, test was the former Deputy PM’s message, especially now that the country has the labs to do so.”

Dr Surapong Seubwonglee, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand posted on Facebook urging the government to investigate the number of people tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Thailand and appeal for wider testing.

He gave several reasons why testing has been sluggish and said that now is the time to expand testing to asymptomatic individuals. Many recently cases confirmed cases have shown no symptoms.

With an improved number of testing labs, the country now has the capacity to do 20,000 tests daily. Labs could now do as many tests as they have done since January in just the next few days.

Surapong’ post said that testing for the virus has been low in Thailand, though it’s higher than reported on, which as of today says 71,860 have been tested, equating to just 1030 per million inhabitants.

He showed data that suggested 71,860 tests had been done from January to April 4th. The great majority of these were in Bangkok with Chula (pink on the graph) and Ramathibodi Hospital (Blue) the most.

Former Deputy PM stresses need for more testing, emulating South Korean model | News by Thaiger

Surapong said that while the testing done in Thailand is just a fraction of that done in South Korea and Germany, Thailand found a greater percentage of people infected because they targeted high risk individuals rather than the asymptomatic population.

He said that tests in Thailand need to be massively expanded so that more people can receive medication early before their symptoms become dangerous. This model has been widely praised around the world after it was adopted in South Korea and Taiwan.

Surapong said there were several reasons for the sluggish approach. There were few testing labs at first and most of those were in Bangkok. But there are now 77 labs nationwide and the capacity for testing daily is now 20,000. There will be 107 labs by the end of the month.

He conceded that there have been problems over the cost of the tests and the lack of uniformity. Now the cost has been fixed at 3,000 baht, and Thais can access a test using their social security or other insurance.

SOURCES: thaivisa | Sanook


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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:

World1 hour ago

Swedish prison hostage situation resolved with pizza

Thailand2 hours ago

Minister: foreigners, migrant workers are cared for amid Covid-19

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

“Withhold Intubation” for certain older Thammasat Hospital patients

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Bang Sue vaccination centre open for expats 60+, under must wait

Coronavirus News & Updates8 hours ago

“Covid-19” deaths said to cause crematorium in Bangkok to partially collapse

Thailand8 hours ago

Nakhon Sawan farmers make large profits growing fingerroot as Covid cure

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Leaked document: military arranging private Moderna vaccines

Thailand9 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat arrest drug suspect hiding in jar

Media9 hours ago

19 year old man drowns in a Kanchanaburi river while rescuing his puppy

Thailand10 hours ago

Online registration site up for interprovincial travel permission

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox tweak, ‘filthy rich’ visa, Chon Buri restrictions | July 23

Phuket10 hours ago

18 infections today in Phuket creeps closer to 90/week threshold

Thailand10 hours ago

BMA plans to open 53 “community isolation centres”

Thailand11 hours ago

Rural Kanchanaburi students struggle with lessons

Phuket11 hours ago

Phuket company plans to pitch “Diving Sandbox” for liveaboard trips

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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