Thailand reopening 'premature'

Thailand reopening 'premature'

Officials conduct an exercise at Phuket airport on Thursday to prepare for the Phuket Sandbox project that was set to start on July 1. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)
Officials conduct an exercise at Phuket airport on Thursday to prepare for the Phuket Sandbox project that was set to start on July 1. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Wednesday he would reopen Thailand's borders in 120 days, but some people think this is too soon.

Responses were mixed but all suggested the PM prioritise his jab management before opening the gates.

Piyabut Sriphet, 30, a frontline health worker, said the 120-day plan would be hard to achieve because many Thais had yet to receive their first dose.

"What we have witnessed is vaccine mismanagement, which excluded us as frontline workers, as well as others who live with an underlying disease," he said.

He said that as Thailand is fast becoming an ageing society, there are many people, especially the elderly and sick, who found their jabs appointment were postponed. Opening borders, he said, would put their lives at risk.

"It is better for the PM to put aside this plan," he said. "As we can see, the spread is unstoppable and we currently have not achieved 50% immunity of the total population.

"Opening the gates may cause the disease to spread even more."

A Thai Herb startup company owner, who asked not to be named, said he felt a sense of hopelessness about the PM's plan to reopen borders.

"The PM offered hope, but I fear what might happen next," he said.

"All of my family members are medical staff. My brother, who is a doctor, has not been vaccinated yet."

Meanwhile, a flight attendant with an international airline, who also asked not to be named, said she was happy with the plan, as it could rescue tourism businesses after the "long sleep".

As a Phuket resident, she said she was happy her hometown was chosen as a "sandbox" as it could revive the island.

"I have never witnessed Patong Beach this quiet since the tsunami many years ago," she said.

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Vocabulary

  • achieve: to succeed in doing something very good or difficult - บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
  • dose: an amount of drug that has been measured so that you can take it - ปริมาณยาที่ให้ต่อครั้ง
  • frontline: directly involved where fighting takes place - แนวหน้า
  • hopeless (adj): having no hope that things will get better or succeed - ซึ่งสิ้นหวัง, ซึ่งหมดหวัง
  • immunity: protected from a disease naturally by the body - ภูมิคุ้มกันโรค, ภูมิต้านทานโรค
  • jab: a vaccination - การฉีดวัคซีน
  • management: the act or skill of dealing with people or situations in a successful way - การจัดการ
  • mismanagement: organising or controlling something badly - การจัดการผิด
  • postponed: delayed; decided that something will be done at a later time - เลื่อนออกไป
  • premature: happening too soon  - เร็วเกินไป
  • prioritise: to put tasks, problems, etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important first - จัดลำดับก่อน
  • society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
  • tsunami (n): a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake, submarine landslide, or other disturbance -
  • underlying (adj): important in a situation but not always easily noticed or stated clearly; existing under the surface of something else - ที่สำคัญและซ่อนอยู่, ที่อยู่ในตำแหน่งต่ำกว่า
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