23 May 2024

Thailand can survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but only with the cooperation of all Thai people, by delaying all foreign travel, strictly observing the 14-day self-quarantine upon their return and heeding the advice of health officials on what to do during a health crisis, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday night.

He urged people to take care of their health, to eat only well-cooked and clean food, to avoid sharing spoons and glasses, to wear face masks in high-risk areas, to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially if they have touched hand rails and door knobs, and the avoidance of crowds.

In a nation-wide address, on the threat posed by COVID-19, the Prime Minister said that the rapid increase in new COVID-19 cases since last week, compounded by inaccurate news reports about the death toll and new infections, have caused panic among some members of the public, who have started stocking up on essential items, resulting in shortages of items like face masks.

He appealed to the public to remain calm and not to hoard, saying that it is unnecessary under the present circumstances.

The Prime Minister assured the public that it has been taking all the necessary steps to stem the contagion, including preparation of medical personnel, equipment and medicine, as well as facilities for virus screening and testing and treatment of those infected.

He hailed medics, as the ones on the frontlines of the fight against the virus, saying that the Government has given them full support, so they are able to perform at their best.

Citing the World Health Organization’s prediction that the pandemic will spread widely, the Prime Minister stressed that the Government will do its best to minimize the death toll.

Since COVID-19 was first detected in Thailand in January, only one death has been reported out of a total of 147 confirmed cases.

Noting that the virus will continue to spread for a while, he conceded that all Thais may suffer, but will get through the crisis “if we all have patience and unite.”