7 days of “solitude”

Thailand has seen itself under curfew for a week now, though not yet lockdown, while the world has passed 100 days of battling the disease

One week under the curfew between 10 pm to 4 am has passed, and the number of new confirmed cases have decreased to two- digit records consecutively, with today’s number at 45.

But medical practitioners, though hopeful, remain on high alert, warning people not to let their guards down.

The ultimate goal of the government after deciding to impose the curfew last week (Aril 3) is putting the number to zero, and as shown by the graph analyzed by Dr. Thira Woratanarat, dean of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, the number of new confirmed cases has reduced to 12% from 33% when the first 100 cases were reported in the country in mid March.

As a result, people have been requested to keep their guards high, meaning they are asked to strictly follow the restrictions imposed, including limits on the period of time out of their residences and in public areas.

(Photo: B.Tribune)
(Photo: B.Tribune)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as if realising the hard time the people are facing, yesterday assured them on a televised program, that the current curfew would not be stepped up for the time being.

More restrictions, however, would be tightened in some certain places and periods of time that need to, including the coming celebration of Songkran’s Day, when gatherings and sales of alcohols are banned.

Worldwide, yesterday (April 9) also marked 100 days since the world first learned about the virus. (WHO was notified of the first cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause” in China.)

The number of cases worldwide have not yet declined, being reported at 1,436,198 and 85, 522 deaths, as of April 9. (Today, it has passed 100, 000 deaths already, the number that the government’s spokesperson of the government’s Covid-19 Situation Control Venter, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said, “terrified”.)

WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the press conference last night that while the cases have reached almost 1.5 millions, the world has seen a welcome slowing in some of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, like Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

But at the same time, it has also seen an alarming acceleration in other countries, he said, highlighting Africa, where the virus is now spreading to rural areas.

In sum, more than 16 countries are seeing clusters of cases and community transmissions, said the WHO chief.

The WHO chief warned countries of rushing to lower the guards down by planning “the transition out of stay-at-home restrictions”.

“WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone. At the same time, lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence.

“The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly,” warned Dr. Tedros.

(Photo: B.Tribune)
(Photo: B.Tribune)

Timeline:

*On January 5, WHO officially notified all Member States of this new outbreak, and published a disease outbreak news on its website.

*On January 22, it convened the emergency committee, and again a week later, after the first cases of human-to-human transmission were reported outside China, and declared a public health emergency of international concern_ the highest level of alarm.

At the time there were 98 cases outside China, and no deaths.

*In February, an international team of experts from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Singapore and the United States of America visited affected provinces in China to learn more about the virus, the outbreak and the response, and to glean lessons for the rest of the world.

*In February, it bought more than 400 of the world’s leading researchers together to identify and accelerate research priorities.

*It also launched the Solidarity Trial, with more than 90 countries working together to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible.

*On April 4, the number of cases worldwide passed one million, and on April 11, the number of deaths has passed 100, 000.

*Today, 130 scientists, funders and manufacturers from around the world have signed a statement committing to work with WHO to speed the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

*On January 13, Thailand reported its first confirmed cases to WHO after a traveler from Wuhan, China was identified by Thai officials on 8 January, and hospitalised that day.

*On January 28, Thailand received the first local transmission case in a taxi driver who had contracted the disease from his passenger.

*On March 14, a few first cluster cases were reported.

*On March 26, Thailand’s cases hit 1,000, with a state of emergency invoked.

*On April 3, the curfew was declared. Today, the country sees 2, 518 cases with 35 deaths.

Sources: WHO, DDC

(Photo: B.Tribune)
(Photo: B.Tribune)
(Photo: B.Tribune)