11 July 2024

Fighting COVID-19 is a long-haul battle, like running a marathon, as the contagion will remain with mankind for a long time, at least until there is an effective vaccine, said Thailand’s renowned virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan in his Facebook post today (Friday).


One of the top medical specialists, recruited by the Thai government to help contain the spread of the virus in Thailand, Dr. Yong said that the virus has already caused a pandemic and development of an effective vaccine will take quite a long time.

It is up to each country to devise the means to control the virus, reduce the loss of life and limit economic damage, he said, adding that Thailand has opted for slowing down the advance of the disease so that the health system can cope with it, at least until we have the medicines or the working vaccine.”


He said, however, that there is a glimmer of hope as China has promised to provide Thailand with Favipiravir.

The virologist said he is not sure that the Chinese model of locking down cities and closing its borders to all arrivals and departures will work effectively in democratic countries and “it is not possible for us to close towns or the country for a long time.”


To fight a long-haul battle against coronavirus, he said that planners must devise a plan which has the right balance, taking into consideration the resources available and the knowledge that 80% of infections are not serious, “and some do not exhibit any symptoms at all” with the elderly and the sick being the most vulnerable.

He recommended older people stay home, adding that the best means to contain the spread of the virus is the prevention of new infections, adding “this battle is a marathon, not a 100-metre dash and it will exhaust us.”