Geneva — World Health Organisation Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has singled out Thailand as “an excellent example” in fighting the coronavirus which has been ravaging the world since early this year.
He said Thailand’s success was the result of the country’s commitment to investing in its public health infrastructure, pointing out its network of more than 1 million village health volunteers who play a critical role in the response to the pandemic.
In his closing remarks at the World Health Assembly on November 13 in Geneva, the WHO chief said Thailand’s low rate of Covid-19 infections and deaths “speak for themselves”.
He said Thailand is an excellent example “that with a whole-of-government, whole-of-society, comprehensive approach, this virus can be contained – even without a vaccine.”
Thailand was the first country outside China to report a case of COVID-19, it has reported fewer than 4,000 cases and just 60 deaths, with a population of 70 million and one of the world’s largest and most crowded cities, he said.
“This is no accident,” he added.
The WHO chief recalled that 40 years ago, Thailand made a commitment to investing in its public health infrastructure, and has made continued investments in strengthening its capacities under the International Health Regulations.
“The country’s network of more than 1 million village health volunteers, who are the eyes and ears of the health system in communities, played a critical role in the response,” he said, adding Thailand has also learned the lessons of the past, including its experience with SARS in 2003.
“I urge all countries to follow Thailand’s lead. No country can say it was well-enough prepared for COVID-19, or that it has no lessons to learn,” he said.
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