18 months of pandemic pain ahead, warns govt panel
Thailand must plan for another 12 to 18 months of serious impacts from Covid-19, a government advisory panel investigating the pandemic’s consequences has concluded.
After assessing Public Health Ministry data, the advisory committee on the social and economic impacts of the pandemic agreed the outbreak will have serious long-term consequences for health, the economy and society.
As such, a plan was needed to handle the impacts of Covid-19 up until December 2021, committee chief Prof Dr Jaras Suwanwayla told the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the government’s thinktank.
Jaras said that aside from government remedial measures, help and cooperation from both the private and civil sectors was required to overcome the effects of the virus crisis.
His committee is currently gathering information to draw up the plan, which will be proposed to the government as a matter of urgency within three months. The advisory panel will hear from the Public Health Ministry on Monday (May 11).
The panel was set up on the Prime Minister’s orders on April 30.
Dr Jaras also admitted he was concerned about the scheduled reopening of malls and other outlets on May 17 as part of gradual easing of the lockdown. He said the reopening was unavoidable but had to proceed with extreme caution to avoid sparking a second-phase outbreak that could swamp the health system with a new wave of cases. He noted examples in many countries where the Covid-19 mortality rate is as high as 10-20 percent.