US assistance to Thailand to combat Covid-19 worth $30m
The US government has donated $30 million in total Covid-related assistance to Thailand, the countrys embassy in Bangkok said in a statement, underlining the close bilateral ties.
The assistance included $17.5 million in ventilators, respirators, surgical masks, goggles, and other protective equipment to Thai doctors and nurses, plus assistance to support refugees in border camps.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has provided an additional $13 million in assistance while working side-by-side with Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health.
To strengthen the Thai Covid-19 response at every level, USAID, CDC and the US Army have assisted the Thai government with boosting diagnostic capacity.
USAID assisted Thailand’s confirmation of the first traveller-imported Covid-19 case in January 2020.
The CDC developed an enhanced surveillance programme for nine camps on the Thai-Myanmar border. To date, it has tested more than 1,500 specimens for Covid-19 and detected three outbreaks, providing camp healthcare providers with early awareness which prevented widespread epidemics in a high-risk environment, the embassy said.
USAID supported online counselling and provided pulse oximeters to key populations who have been affected by Covid-19 to monitor their health and facilitate access to treatment. This includes migrants.
Meanwhile, the US Army medical scientists are collaborating with Thai counterparts to develop Thailand’s own vaccine candidates, intensifying efforts to protect Thais in the future.
The embassy said CDC and USAID have led outreach efforts to migrant communities. Over 117,601 migrants and vulnerable people have been educated on sanitary guidelines to eliminate or reduce the spread of Covid-19.
As part of quarantine assistance, USAID supported the PhonPhai mobile application to enable direct and timely distribution of 188,203 relief kits and drinking water (valued at nearly $4 million) to quarantined individuals across 69 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.
The US government has announced a framework for sharing 80 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June. The plan for the first 25 million doses includes 7 million for Asia, including Thailand. This is in addition to the $4 billion US commitment to Covax, a WHO initiative.