Thailand’s 40 CEOs reject ‘Wuhan’ model, call on PM to control pandemic, provide compensations

40 of Thailand’s leading CEOs have called on the government to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, compensate people who have been adversely impacted by it, boost the economy and rehabilitate the country, while rejecting the idea of a “Wuhan” style lockdown, according to Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri.

During a video conference, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday (Wednesday) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, to seek cooperation between the public and private sectors in finding solutions to the raging pandemic, the “40 CEO Plus” group said the private sector is ready to support the government with Rapid Test kits, medicines, hospital beds and intensive care units, including digital technologies and innovations to assist with home isolation programs.

The group said the government’s relief packages should be expanded to include businesses which have been ordered to close, including those within the supply chain, as well as solving the labour shortage.

They also suggested short and mid-term plans to stimulate the economy through spending, encourage investment by the private sector, create more jobs, as well as to prepare the country for the “new economy.”

They recommended the setting up of a public-private committee and the encouragement of more beneficial activities, such as new agricultural practices, quality tourism and digital transformation to rehabilitate the country.

On Sunday, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong said a complete lockdown following the Wuhan model, in which very strict measures were imposed to control the pandemic, may be imposed in the next two months if the situation has not improved, as Thailand recorded new highs of infections almost every day since last week.

Mr. Anucha said the government is speeding up mass inoculations, rolling out relief measures and reviving the tourism industry through the “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” schemes.

The Prime Minister also insisted that his plan to reopen Thailand completely for international arrivals in mid-October still stands, as pioneer projects have been implemented on Phuket, Samui and on two other islands, with plans to expand to other areas in the near future. The government will, however, consider all suggestions and will discuss those received with the cabinet and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

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