Since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, there have been thousands of recorded cases of the virus in hundreds of countries, with many more deaths topping off the statistics. But how exactly has the virus been developing in Thailand, since the outbreak had first started?
The COVID-19 coronavirus had reached Thailand rather early on into the beginning of the infection, with the first reported case of infection having been taken on 13 January 2020. Within four weeks of the infection reaching the country, Thailand had become the third-most infectious country after China and Singapore.
It was the first country to report any sort of infection outside of China, and at one point it had even topped the charts in terms of countries that were considered high-risk - according to a study done by the University of Southampton's WorldPop team.
The economic development of Thailand had slowed down to 2.4% in Q3 2019, just before the beginning of the infection. The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus marked a very poor time for the country, leading to a further stunting to its economy overall.
Upon the rise of infection in Thailand, the Thai government had instilled a state of partial lockdown as a means of slowing down the infection rates and attempting to put a halt to the gradually growing cases of COVID-19 in the country. The highest jump in cases would occur eighteen days later, on 19 March 2020.
138 Thai citizens needed to be evacuated from Wuhan, China on 4 February 2020 by the Thai government. The individuals had been trapped in the country following the implementation of severe travel restrictions, and out of all the evacuees, only six needed to be transferred to a hospital following confirmation of carrying the virus.
According to Reuters, Thai doctors had found success in treating the coronavirus victims through a combination of HIV drugs, such as lopinavir and ritonavir. The antiviral medication oseltamivir had also been a key part of the treatment, and had significantly improved the conditions of the infected (in terms of calming the deadlier symptoms of the virus).
Health surveillance was placed on 28 of the country’s airports by the Department of Disease Control (DDC), and foreigners have been barred from crossing the Thai border by any means. Many of the country’s regions were placed under total lockdown, and over time, the process seems to have helped.
Thailand has miraculously managed to avoid the very worst of the virus. On 15 December 2020, it was reported that Thailand had only recorded about 4,246 infections since the beginning of the year. This is only a fifth of the cases that were present in the United Kingdom at the time. Despite its vulnerability, Thailand managed to pull through the very worst of the infection and is arguably on its way to eventually seeing a total cleansing of the disease.
The cases kept low and under control, and doctors providing consistent means to battle the viral symptoms, Thailand had fought off the worst wave of the virus through tactics that could perhaps be adopted by other countries to achieve similar results. The pandemic is far from over, it seems, but overall, the country’s infection rates may soon see a decline.
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