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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Government panel predicts 12-18 more months of pandemic-related pain

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PHOTO: Dr Jaras Sunawayla - Nation Thailand

Thailand faces up to a year and a half of serious impacts from Covid-19 pandemic, according to a government advisory panel investigating the pandemic’s consequences on the Kingdom. The panel was set up on the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s orders on April 30.

After analysing data from the Ministry of Public Health, the advisory committee on the social and economic impacts of the pandemic agreed the pandemic will have serious long-term consequences for public health, the economy and Thai society as a whole.

“Because of this, a plan is needed to handle the impacts of Covid-19 up through December 2021.” This from the committee chief Dr Jaras Suwanwayla when addressing the National Economic and Social Development Board, the government’s official thinktank.

Jaras says aside from government measures, help and cooperation from both the private and civil sectors is required to overcome the effects of the crisis.

His committee is currently gathering data to draw up a plan, which will be proposed to the government as a priority within 3 months. The panel will hear from the Public Health Ministry on Monday.

Dr Jaras also admits he’s concerned about the scheduled reopening of malls and other outlets on May 17 as part of gradual easing of the state of emergency. He says the reopening is inevitable but must be done with extreme caution to avoid sparking a second outbreak that could overwhelm the health system with a new wave of cases. He noted examples in many countries where the Covid-19 mortality rate has been as high as 10-20%, based on reported figures.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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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.

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