Credit: DDC

EDITORIAL: This “dangerous” disease status for COVID-19 needs public understanding and support

Thailand has listed Coronavirus disease as the country’s 14th “dangerous” communicable disease. Sound scary? But it needs public support

Because of a vast area of uncertainty around the Coronavirus disease or COVID-19, Thailand’s step to declare the disease as the country’s 14th “ dangerous” communicable disease should win praises and support, not panic and criticism.

For nearly two months since the disease broke in Wuhan in China at the end of last year, Thai medical pratitioners have managed to curb the rise of confirmed cases, as of yesterday, at 37 without any deaths, despite the fact that it is the first country where the virus was detected outside China.

The country by then quickly reported to the World Health Organization and tried to limit and contain the outbreak every way it could although some measures were criticised as still being lagged behind the virus.

The work outcomes, however, have spoken for themselves. Deputy director general of the Disease Control Department Dr. Tanarak Plipat had to post openly on his Facebook Page recently to thank all medical staff who were behind the low rise in number of the cases in the country.

At this point, despite being the first that found the virus outside China, Thailand is still at phase 2 of the outbreak, meaning the disease does not spread from locals to locals, but somehow still have the connection with the sources outside the country.

The department and Public Health Ministry are trying hard to prolong the stage of the outbreak so that the country can prepare itself more efficiently for the next, which is projected with a mass infection that would compromise the country’s capacity.

By taking such the proactive approach of declaring the virus as the scary status, the country can stand a chance to be one step ahead of the virus, although that means some tough measures would be delivered against the public as part of an effort to stem the  virus.

“We are still in phase 2  but there is an increasing trend of the virus outbreaks and spread overseas that can possibly affect us,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said of the reason behind the announcement. “So, we have decided to list the disease under the “dangerous” communicable disease category to unlock our public health regulations and measures.”

It’s a tough decision and a tough time for all that need support, especially in time when the virus outbreak has severely affected the economy already.

To win over the virus which is still pretty much unknown to us, support and cooperation from the general public, not panic and criticism, are what most needed.