Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

8 Jun, 2020

FCCT June 9 Live Webcast: Why has Thailand done so well combating Covid-19?

Announcement by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.

As of June 2, Thailand had officially confirmed 3,085 cases of Covid-19 and suffered 58 deaths; only 59 infected people were still hospitalized. The pandemic is far from over, and has completely changed the way people live. It has also wrought economic mayhem that has yet to be fully tallied, but the direct casualties have been far lower than feared at the outset. This is significant given Thailand’s proximity to China – with doors once wide open to some 10 million Chinese visitors annually. 

In the 2019 Global Health Security Index put out by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and The Economist Intelligence Unit, Thailand ranked sixth overall globally. More remarkably, it came third for preventing outbreaks of pathogens, and second for a “sufficient and robust health system to treat the sick and protect health workers”.  Thailand was also highly rated for “strong field epidemiology” and laboratory infrastructure. 

Click on the image to access the FCCT Facebook page

There is scant trace in all this of the celebrated “mai pen rai” culture that pervades other aspects of Thai life. But, to be fair, Southeast Asia as a whole seems to have been less affected by the pandemic than many other parts of the world. Vietnam, which also adopted a low testing strategy, has done particularly well, and is already taking the lead on lifting lockdown. 

To shed more light on what Thailand seems to have been doing right and factors that have worked in its favour – and also to discuss some downsides – the FCCT is hosting a special livestreamed panel in the clubhouse. 

Confirmed panellists:

  • Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman, Ministry of Public Health and of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
  • Dr Tanarak Plipat,  deputy director general of communicable diseases, Ministry of Public Health. 
  • Craig Griffin, chief insight officer at Fuel Research and Consulting, and Thailand representative of ESOMAR, a global association of the market research community based in The Netherlands. 
  • Matthew Tostevin, Southeast Asia editor, Reuters. 
  • James Wise, former Australian ambassador to Thailand and author of “Thailand: `History, politics and the rule of law’.

NOTE: for reasons of social distancing, the onsite audience will be restricted to 25 FCCT members only – no guests. Priority will be given to journalists. If you wish to attend, you must call the FCCT office to reserve a place (02 652 0580).