Thailand Did Well At First With COVID-19, But Now, It Is So Bad That Some Thais Want The Thai PM To Resign Over The Pandemic

Although Thailand reported the first Covid-19 case outside of China in January 2020, it kept its infection numbers low thanks to effective containment measures. However, it faces a much bigger challenge this year. Thailand is struggling to contain the third wave of infections that has pushed daily caseloads and death tolls to unprecedented levels. Thailand reported a record number of daily confirmed infections on Wednesday, with 20,920 cases, the second day reporting over 20,000, according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The death toll in Thailand also reached 160, bringing the total to 5,663.Bangkok’s hospitals have been overwhelmed by the surge in cases, and the demand for beds has far exceeded capacity. Health care authorities are racing to reduce the burden on the system. Dr. Supat Hasuwannakit, president of the Rural Doctor Society, says more than 400 physicians and nurses from provinces are being sent into Bangkok’s slums and densely populated areas in order to test and isolate 250,000 residents. Although we may not be able to reduce the infection rate just yet, we are hoping to ease the bed shortage in Bangkok and slow the death rate, Supat said.
Thailand extended its national lockdown until the end of the month to slow the rising number of cases. 29 provinces are now under the strictest protocol, meaning 40% of the country’s population will be under lockdown, according to CNN’s calculations based on CCSA data.At Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport, a warehouse has been converted into a 1,800-bed field hospital for Covid-19 patients with less severe symptoms, and 15 passenger trains have been converted into community isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients waiting for hospital beds. The prolonged economic downturn and the rise in Covid fatalities have taken a toll on Thai citizens. Several bodies were found on the streets of Bangkok and left lying on the road for hours before an ambulance could retrieve them. Many people have joined recent anti-government protests across the country, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, whose government has been heavily criticized for its handling of the pandemic. Thailand plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 23% of the country’s 70 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 5% are fully vaccinated.

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