In January, Thailand became the second country to confirm a COVID-19 case but, since then, the country has shown remarkable resilience and, as of late July, there had not been any recorded cases of domestic transmission for nearly two months.
Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, explains that this success is thanks to a combination of government action, social responsibility and community solidarity.
Thailand’s overall response, and ability to curb infections, has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to identify Thailand, alongside New Zealand, as a success story in dealing with the pandemic.
Of course, that success entirely depends on continued vigilance, a whole-of-society approach, and ramped up testing to prevent a second wave as borders open and full economic activities are resumed.
The economic impact of the pandemic has been serious, with predictions of an 8.1 per cent contraction of the economy in 2020. According to a recent survey, 65 per cent of people in Thailand report that their incomes are totally or very inadequate under…