Thailand ranked 2nd globally in containing Covid-19

Thailand’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been ranked the second-best worldwide by a Malaysia-based consultancy, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha praised and thanked Thais for their cooperation in controlling the disease.

Thailand trailed only Australia in the rankings for the best response to the pandemic. Malaysia’s Ministry of Science and Innovation worked with PEMANDU Associates, a consultancy focusing on socio-economic transformation, to develop the rankings. Taiwan and South Korea were the only other Asian countries in the top 10. Malaysia finished 11th.

Although Thailand recorded the first Covid-19 case outside of China, comprehensive action by the government prevented a massive wave of infections. As of last week, the Kingdom had recorded 3,141 total cases, with 2,996 patients recovered and 58 deaths.

Others also noted Thailand’s achievement. Newly arrived United Nations Resident Coordinator for Thailand Gita Sabharwal praised Thailand’s success in responding to the pandemic during a visit to the National Assembly, where she was received by Assembly President Chuan Leekpai, a former two-time Prime Minister.

PEMANDU said that it calculated its rankings based on confirmed cases per population, proportionate rate of death, and a slew of indicators from the Global Health Security Index (GHS), an initiative led by Johns Hopkins University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The GHS measures countries’ readiness to handle a pandemic.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked Thailand’s people for their “discipline, strength, patience and effort to prevent the spread of the viral epidemic.”

Because of the success in containing the pandemic, the government has initiated the fourth phase of reopening the country. However, the Prime Minister’s emergency decree remains in effect because authorities remain on guard for a possible second wave of the virus and want to retain tools to take quick action.

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