The World Health Organisation (WHO) invited H.E.
Anutin Charnvirakul (อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล), Thailand’s Deputy Prime
Minister and the Minister of Public Health, to speak about the
Kingdom’s remarkable success in controlling the spread of COVID19
at today’s virtual press conference.
To date, Thailand has recorded 3,818 COVID19 cases
and 60 deaths. The country has had very few local cases in recent
months, with most of the latest cases being imported from other
Khun Anutin used the WHO’s press conference to explain how
Thailand, the first country in the world outside of China to
detect COVID19, has managed to contain the spread of the virus. He
spoke of the strategies in place, how important the Intra-Action
Review (IAR) has been to this success, and expressed his thanks to
everyone in Thailand for their collective effort in curtailing the
spread of the disease.
Besides Thailand’s strengths, the IAR outlined
areas for improvement. These include: better integrating COVID19
information, enhance surveillance systems by improving capacity to
detect cases and improve the efficiency of emergency centres, and by
advancing the digital data system.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General,
World Health Organization (WHO), said, “Many countries heard our
call back in January when we rang our highest alarm by calling a
public health emergency of international concern. They worked
closely with us and followed the parameters set out in the
strategic response plan that WHO outlined on the 4 February.
They’ve conducted reviews, shared data and experience and honed
their response to their national experience and unique situation
on the ground. As the pandemic unfolds, as countries have
reflected, they have used Intra-Action Reviews to make their
responses stronger. This kind of self-analysis review is what the
world called for during World Health Assembly back in May.”
By reviewing and adapting strategies and
identifying what is working well and what needs to be
strengthened, IAR gives countries the opportunity to more easily
change the trajectory of the pandemic. To date, 21 countries have
completed IAR and others are in the pipeline.
“By conducting reviews in real-time and sharing
lessons to the world, these three countries [Indonesia, South
Africa and Thailand] have reflected a
blueprint for how countries can suppress COVID19 and break the
chains of transmission. You can do exercises, you can do
simulations, but the best time to look at your emergency response
capacity is when an emergency is happening. That is when you can
clearly see what works, what doesn’t and what you need to improve.
There’s hope and now is the time to double down on efforts to
tackle this virus. Wherever a country is in terms of the outbreak,
countries can turn it around by driving a whole-of-government and
whole-of-society response. It’s never too late,” Dr. Tedros added.
During the press conference, Dr. Tanarak Plipat,
Deputy Director General of Thailand’s Department of Disease
Control, answered a question about Thailand’s quarantine
regulations. Currently, all travellers arriving into the Kingdom
must quarantine for 14 days. However, with tourism playing such an
important role in the country’s economy the government is under
tremendous pressure to reopen borders and reduce the amount of
nights in quarantine needed. Dr Tanarak explains how the country plans to reduce
quarantine and gives some insights into how that will work. Watch
the video below for more information. The
83-minute press conference is on the WHO’s YouTube channel.
Thailand, COVID19 and Quarantine – WHO Press
Conference on 6 November 2020
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