What Made Thailand Win First Wave Pandemic Fight: Lessons Learned for the next fight from Perspectives of Wholeness Care, One Health and Disaster Response

23 July 2020


AIT Extension is pleased to welcome to the Webinar on What Made Thailand Win First Wave Pandemic Fight: Lessons Learned for the next fight from Perspectives  of Wholeness Care, One Health and Disaster Response, 23rd July 14:00- 15:30 Bangkok Time

Important Points from the Webinar


Associate Professor

Global Health Innovator

Innovative Healthcare Program

Thammasart University

  1. Adaptability- this is new normal for everyone. If each nation or healthcare system adopt more faster then the successful rate is promising.
  2. Execution- not just in the health care section but is also from adjacent sector, from the social sector and economical sector. The execution from these sectors have to be synchronized like a holistic execution. Points of synchronizing, 3 S: Sensibility, making people getting on the right track, agreeing on the same method or negotiating on the things that needs to be performed. Sensitivity, sometimes the cultures, religious beliefs, norms also influence the way or the method of the service provided and the culture of each nation. If we have a maintenance synchronized on measuring the difference of each nations sensitivity, that will make a good result. Specificity, in Thailand, there are specific rules implied  or given to many counterparts and each of them just be whole and strict of their to their roles. This is like quality control and its making Thailand pass the first wave of this pandemic.
  3. It seems to be that Thailand is fortunate to have a universal privilege, but in fact the synchronization of primary care, secondary care, tertiary care is far beyond that period.


Programme Officer

World Health Organization, Thailand

From the very early on, Thailand adopted an early and rather a comprehensive strategy, since February or early March 2020 by announcements, orders by Ministry of Health, Prime Ministers Office and other authorities. In March, CCSA was established and leading the response. Thailand’s strong universal health coverage is a real advantage and is a foundation and made the amount of Covid response possible.

Important to highlight that the primary health care that reaches and is accessible to everyone living in Thailand even in the most remote communities, that is a result of decades of investment.

  1. Not also to miss the excellent laboratory capacity, present in Thailand. And maybe, the fact that Thailand was No. 2 in the world to report a case to WHO, is not because Thailand is the second country in the world, it is because Thailand had a lab, had a scientist who worked for 15 years on coronaviruses.  The laboratory present in Thailand is the core added advantage that allowed the response from early on in January to be well-equipped with one of the key weapons to fight this pandemic, which was timely and accurate testing. Without the testing, we could have not found where the virus was.
  2. To pay tribute to the million health volunteers, also the millions of community members that respect them, listens to them, follows their advice and support the critical mission on the ground.  
  3. The Ministry of Health, Royal Thai Government, CCSA uses many other platforms to reach out beyond publishing the online and twitting. These provided regular updates to the public.


Senior Human Development Specialist

Global Practice on Health, Nutrition And Population, The World Bank

There are key factors that contributed to Thailand’s success in responding to this Covid-19 crisis. Disaster preparedness particularly for the health sector health related ones is also crucial.

The Government focusing on expanding Covid-19 laboratory capacity nationwide with the clear criteria of patients and investigations of all health care providers to identify who can do the test from the beginning.

  1. The speed in increasing the laboratory testing capacity in Thailand has been remarkable, within a few months from very few lapse, that could conduct the test, it has been extended to all the provinces  and now there are over 200 laboratories across the country that can conduct the RTPCR test for Covid. The Government has expanded the testing to all the risk groups nationwide, also to migrants.
  2. Much effort have been made for contact tracing to identify the people who were in contact with Covid-19 patients for testing and quarantine. It’s about learning as we go. Partially also learning from practices from China. The dues of Thailand app, the enforcement of contact tracing has proved to be critical to help halting the spreading infections.
  3. The isolation and quarantine policy. This has been expanded over time as well, not only in hospitals but also to actively create hospitels (accommodations for patients who need recovery and continuing isolation, adopted from hotels, to help reduce service pressure at hospitals). The 14-day state quarantine policy that has been in place, has so far worked well.
  4. The well integrated health care system, with a very strong primary care as a strong front line for health service delivery is very important to tackle Covid. The seamless referral systems between primary, secondary, tertiary Is very important, the availability of these health village volunteers that reached about a million who played a very important role particularly on the disease prevention side.
  5. The effort have been made to prepare for more ICU’s in the country with adequate provision of PPE’s, medical supplies, medical materials, health facilities and very interestingly Thailand has also invested in producing in PPE itself. A lot of industries have converted factories into producing quality PPE’s, now Thailand has a surplus that we can even export to other countries.
  6. The government and academic communities in Thailand have tried to invest in research and innovation to improve the country’s capacity to produce vaccines, medicines, medical laboratory supplies in order to respond to Covid. We are now able to produce the RTPCL agents so no need to rely the important onesthe development of the vaccine is underway. The government and pharmaceutical organizations have started the development of Favipiravir which had some evidence of its use in treating Covid patients from China. 


Permanent Representative of Thailand to the FAO, IFAD and WFP ,Rome, Italy

  1. Covid 19 is not only health crisis, but also create any other impact and consequences. Covid-19 really opened our mind, our eyes and not only public health service is being tested, other systems as well like food system and others.
  2. In Thailand which is a food producing country, with strong local food system- we don’t really feel scared regarding the scarcity of food unlike other countries who does not have enough.
  3. FAO’s discussion with WRP, IFAD and WHO tries their best to prevent crisis in the crisis. Health crisis is already prevalent, these organizations does not want it to be followed by food crisis.
  4. It’s time to share our experiences, time to share our problems, time for us to make sure that we learn from our failure and do more to make sure that we build back better for the future not only for health sectors but also for the food system at the national level, regional and global level.
  5. Promoting the one health concept. Join our effort to prevent emerging disease together.




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