Thai PM joins world leaders in calling for pandemic treaty

PHOTO: World Travel & Tourism Council / Flickr

Thailand’s PM has joined world leaders and the World Health Organisation in calling for a pandemic treaty to prepare for the next global health crisis. Prayut Chan-o-cha has added his signature to an article signed by more than 20 world leaders, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, the British PM, Boris Johnson, and WHO boss, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Bangkok Post reports that the article calls on all nations to avoid isolationism and nationalism, saying international cooperation is vital to overcoming future pandemics. Those who signed it are testifying their commitment to, “ensuring universal and equitable access to safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, medicine and diagnostics for this and future pandemics. Immunisation is a global public good and we will need to be able to develop, manufacture and deploy vaccines as quickly as possible”.

The article goes on to say that countries must work together to strengthen various measures for the global good, including the distribution of personal protective equipment and vaccines.

“The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. This includes greatly enhancing international cooperation to improve, for example, alert systems, data-sharing, research, and local, regional and global production and distribution of medical and public health counter measures, such as vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment.”

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Meanwhile, Thailand has now approved a second vaccine delivery, consisting of 800,000 doses of China’s Sinovac jab, which arrived in the Kingdom on March 20. The vaccine inspection process reviews various criteria, including quality, manufacturing, and delivery protocol. Supakij Sirilak from the Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Sciences says the doses are now ready for distribution after passing all checks.

“The department today (March 30) has issued certificates for the second batch totalling 800,000 doses which can now be distributed to the public.”

22 provinces have been prioritised to receive a share of the 800,000 doses during April. They include the central provinces of Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, as well as the northern border province of Tak. The other provinces are also either border provinces or popular tourist destinations, including the southern island of Phuket.

Phuket is gearing up to pilot a “Sandbox” project that will see it waive quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists from July 1, provided 70% of its own population is fully vaccinated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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