Most think reopening country in 120 days not feasible: poll

Most think reopening country in 120 days not feasible: poll

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announces the reopening of the country in 120 days in a nationally broadcast programme on June 16, 2021. (Bangkok Post photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announces the reopening of the country in 120 days in a nationally broadcast programme on June 16, 2021. (Bangkok Post photo)

A majority of people think reopening the country in 120 days as announced by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is not feasible, citing the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the result of an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online between June 21-24 on 3,320 people across the country to compile their opinions on Gen Prayut's announcement the country would be reopened in 120 days amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results were broadly similar to those found by Nida Poll.

Asked whether it would be feasible to reopen the country in 120 days, 39.88% said this was unlikely and 21.64% said it was completely impossible. On the other side, 30.26% thought it might be possible and 8.22% were confident it would happen.

A majority of the respondents, 58.22%, said they disagreed with the announcement; 25.90% agreed with it; and 15.88% were uncertain.

Asked whether they would accept a higher risk of Covid-19 so the plan to reopen the country in 120 days can materialise, 51.05% said "no"; 26.93% said "yes"; and 22.02% were uncertain.

Asked what concerned them about the pledge to reopen the country in 120 days, with respondents allowed to tick more than one answer, the replies varied as follows:

- 78.80% were concerned about new Covid-19 variants;
- 71.18% said there might be more clusters of infections; and
- 68.41% said there might be a new wave of the pandemic brought from outside the country.

Asked what should be done in order to be able to reopen the country in 120 days, the answers were:

- 85.12% said vaccination must be expedited to build herd immunity;
- 77.06% quarantine and suppression of illegal border crossers should be tightened;
- 76.53% vaccination administration must be adjusted, with more brands of vaccines imported;
- 71.78% distribution of vaccines to various localities should be expedited; and
- 54.75% active case-finding must be stepped up to prevent Covid-19 spreading.

Asked what benefits reopening would have, regardless of whether they agreed with the 120-day timetable, the answers ticked were: 

- 84.04% said it could push the economy forward;
- 61.73% said it could help accelerate vaccinations; and
- 50.10% said it could draw tourists from abroad.

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