Ministry explains US aid 'mystery'
The Foreign Ministry has explained details of the US's assistance to Thailand to fight Covid-19 and insisted parliamentary committees have been informed of the issue.
Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat was responding to criticism by an MP of the main opposition Pheu Thai Party who accused the government of keeping the matter under wraps.
Mr Tanee said the US has provided assistance to Thailand worth US$30 million (about 900 million baht) since the onset of the pandemic last year.
The US has donated protective and treatment equipment worth $17.5 million.
The donations include temporary shelters set up along the border for people who fled from neighbouring countries.
Also, the US has given $13 million worth of aid to Thailand through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which has worked closely with the Public Health Ministry.
The cooperation covers several areas where the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined forces with the CDC and the US army in increasing local capacity to diagnose Covid-19.
The CDC has also developed health surveillance at nine shelters on the border with Myanmar while the USAID has donated oxygen meters to communities affected by Covid-19.
The CDC and the USAID have jointly carried out a project to provide health education to combat the pandemic.
At the same time, USAID has supported the Phon Phai (Out of Danger) app in delivering survival bags and water to people in quarantine in 69 provinces.
Mr Tanee said the ministry has kept parliament informed about the US's assistance to combat the pandemic.
Staff met the Senate standing committee on foreign affairs to explain the matter on Sept 16 last year.
On Oct 29 last year, officials also brought the matter to the attention of the Senate sub-committee monitoring international events which affect Thailand.