Thailand donates Covid-19 relief supplies to neighbors

Thailand’s Ministry of Defense is donating supplies to neighboring countries to help them fight the Covid-19 pandemic as the government said it expects to be manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine by next year.

The Ministry plans to send 20 mobile negative-pressure cabinets to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Myanmar, all of which share borders with the Kingdom. Cases of Covid-19 are rising in all of those countries, while the virus is spreading rapidly in Myanmar.

Negative-pressure cabinets allow medical staff to safely collect respiratory secretions from patients infected with Covid-19. Each cabinet consists of a plastic frame with a transparent enclosure and pressure and disease transmission control system.

General Kongcheep Tantawanich, Ministry of Defense Spokesperson, said the donations reflected Thailand’s recognition that the pandemic needs to be fought on a regional level. Thailand has already brought its outbreak under control. The Kingdom has fewer than 3,800 detected infections in total with no local transmission for months.

In addition, the Kingdom awaits the development of an effective vaccine to bring the situation back to normal.

Thailand has an agreement with AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom to manufacture and distribute its vaccine if it proves effective and safe. It is in phase three trials at the moment.

The National Vaccine Institute said that if the trials proceed according to plan, Thailand could be making, distributing and giving the vaccine to its citizens by next year.

The Institute also said that it would seek to reach agreements with other pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines so that it could vaccinate and protect as many people as possible in as short a time.

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