The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday praised Thailand's unity as being the key to success in surviving the Covid-19 pandemic at its peak early this year, while Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul vowed the war against the new coronavirus was not yet over.
The unity of all public and social sectors in Thailand and its intensive and extensive health and social measures enabled the country to succeed in the fight to contain the spread of Covid-19, said WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday.
He was speaking at an online address to a national health assembly meeting held by the National Health Commission Office (NHCO).
Thailand's health assembly is a powerful example of how important decisions could be made at the national level with public participation being ensured and public trust generated, the WHO chief said.
This kind of trust is crucial in a crisis, he said, adding the success story from Thailand would be included into the WHO's manual for building national health security in other parts of the world.
While waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine and acknowledging the war against the new virus isn't over yet, health measures including social distancing were considered to be a highly effective "social vaccine" against Covid-19, Mr Anutin said.
While more than 73 million people worldwide were infected with the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19, only 4,200 infections were recorded in Thailand, the minister said.
And since Oct 1, only 18 local infections of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country while about a thousand others were imported cases, he said.
This success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic came despite the fact that Thailand was feared to become the second largest Covid-19 hotspot after China, he said.
This success same from the ability of doctors, nurses, health care workers, local organisations, the private sector and all Thais, he said.