11 July 2024

The World Health Organization’s representative in Thailand has praised Thailand for its ability, to date, to contain the spread of COVID-19 and for being the first country, outside China, to identify a coronavirus as the cause, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

The WHO’s Dr. Daniel Kertesz called on Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul at the Ministry of Public Health for discussions on the global COVID-19 situation.

Mr. Anutin said Dr. Kertesz also praised Thailand’s promotion of social distancing as a means of preventing the accelerated spread of the contagion.

The WHO, he said, recommends four preventive measures, including frequent hand cleansing with soap or sanitizer, avoidance of facial contact with hands to prevent the virus accessing the body’s soft entrances (eyes, nose and mouth), social distancing and covering the mouth and nose with the sleeve or a tissue when sneezing or coughing.

Dr. Supaporn Watchaprueksadee, deputy chief of the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, is the medical technologist who confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Thailand. She was a female Chinese tourist from Wuhan, who was infected on January 9th, two days before China announced the outbreak of coronavirus in the city.

Dr. Supaporn and her team studied the DNA of the virus, obtained from a nasal swap taken from the woman, and found it matched a type of coronavirus usually found in a species of bat.

After criticizing Britain’s prime minister for his government’s handling of the pandemic, some British MPs cited Thailand as a model for the fight against the virus, said Tortrakul.