PM pledges more cash if virus returns

PM pledges more cash if virus returns

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha joins with village health volunteers, known as Or Sor Mor, in singing the 'March Or Sor Mor' song, part of which honours the kings of the Chakri dynasty, at an event in Muang Thong Thani's exhibition hall in Nonthaburi province. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha joins with village health volunteers, known as Or Sor Mor, in singing the 'March Or Sor Mor' song, part of which honours the kings of the Chakri dynasty, at an event in Muang Thong Thani's exhibition hall in Nonthaburi province. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has promised to give more special grants to health volunteers if the country suffers a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

The prime minister made the pledge on Monday while presiding over a ceremony to transfer 3,500 baht each to over 1.05 million volunteers nationwide who worked to curb the initial outbreak.

The 3.62 billion baht in special grants, directly transferred into individual bank accounts, was considered retroactive pay of 500 baht per month covering the period from March to September.

However, Gen Prayut did not say how much additional budget would be set aside for village health volunteers if the country has to cope with containing a fresh round of the virus.

During a meeting with village representatives from around the country at Muang Thong Thani's exhibition hall in Nonthaburi province, Gen Prayut said that the government was thankful to the army of volunteers and promised to take care of all those who played a key role in Thailand's successful containment of the pandemic that has swept across the world.

By this point, the government had already transferred payments into their bank accounts and Gen Prayut said he hoped that the money would be spent to stimulate the ailing economy.

"Without all of you, we would not be regarded as having one of the best public healthcare systems in the world. The key to our success has been prevention and that success is down to you [the health volunteers]. But we must not be careless. Further work is still needed to stop a second wave and the government is ready to take care of you for as long as the outbreak continues," he said.

He urged those in the network to strongly communicate the message that nobody must let their guard drop as the threat of transmission still exists in their communities.

According to the ministry, village health volunteers worked to screen over 1.4 million families, as well as closely monitoring over one million at-risk people at the height of the domestic outbreak.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said to prevent the virus re-emerging, the volunteers must keep a close eye on foreign workers in particular.

He also reminded them that the economic impact has been severe and they must be alert to mental health issues caused by Covid-19-related business closures or losses of income.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (9)

US cases surge, vaccination apps coming: Virus world update

The latest on the novel coronavirus:

13:50

Covid-19 vaccines offer hope as world leaders plan for future

PARIS: France is expected to loosen its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday as the boss of a major airline said proof of vaccination will likely become the only way people can fly in a post-pandemic world.

13:45

Qantas to require Covid vaccine on international flights

SYDNEY: International travellers will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to fly with Australia's Qantas, the company has said, the first major airline to suggest that such rules could become common across the industry.

12:45