Thailand braces for ‘worst-case’ coronavirus scenario

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

The government of Thailand is bracing itself for the worst-case scenario of the coronavirus outbreak but assured that it was doing all measures to prevent the spread.
Speaking after a meeting with government officials at the Government House on Thursday, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that Thailand is now ready just in case it enters the third-level situation.
“People should not panic. The government is preparing measures just in case,” he said.
“If they are not necessary, they will not be implemented. Today, the situation in Thailand is under control. Past measures have been efficient and the disease can be controlled satisfactorily,” he added.
One of the measures now in place was ensuring an ample supply of face masks and help for the ailing tourism industry.
In a separate statement, Permanent Health Secretary Sukum Karnchanapimai said that the ministry was ordered to prepare all medical facilities and equipment, as well as mask supplies to cope up in case the number of virus infections further escalate.
“I stress that the present situation in Thailand is in the second stage and is being satisfactorily handled. Patients who are being treated are recovering and the number of infected people is low compared with figures in other countries,” Karnchanapimai said.
“Thailand ranks 7th, and other countries are doing worse,” he added.
The first stage of a virus is the transmission from animals to humans, the second being the transfer to locals, and the third is an uncontrollable spread.
Permanent Commerce Secretary Bunyarit Kallayanamit feared that there would be limited exports of surgical masks and hand sanitizers amid the strong demand. In Thailand, Kallayanamit said that the nine manufacturing facilities are now operating at a full capacity to produce as much as 35 million masks a month.
Earlier this week, Thailand announced intensified efforts to prevent the virus from spreading. It also urged Thai nationals to postpone scheduled visits to Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, citing their growing number of coronavirus patients.