Industry representatives in Thailand say Covid-19 lockdowns won’t work unless accompanied by mass screening and vaccination. Supant Mongkolsuthree from the Federation of Thai Industries has expressed scepticism that the proposed tightening of restrictions in 13 high-risk provinces will bring the virus under control. Instead, he says the proposal could cost the economy around 100 billion baht and will be ineffective without the rollout of mass testing and vaccination.
According to a Thai PBS World report, Supant disagrees with the idea of a “Wuhan-style” lockdown, as suggested by the head of the Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong. The DDC chief had suggested the extreme measure could be implemented within the next 2 weeks if Covid-19 cases continue to rise. However, Supant says such a policy would see the whole production sector grind to a halt, leading to economic devastation.
The Wuhan lockdown was implemented in early 2020 in the central Chinese city widely regarded as Covid-19 ground zero. All transport in and out of the city was stopped and all shops were closed, with the exception of businesses selling food or medication. Eventually, people were not allowed to leave their homes, but were permitted to order food for delivery. Officials conducted door-to-door health inspections and temperature checks and enforced mandatory isolation for those who were ill.
Today, Thailand has reported another record high of 13,002 new infections and 108 deaths.
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SOURCE: Thai PBS World