Spokesperson of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, in his press briefing on 20 May 2020, stated that Thailand expects to produce its own coronavirus vaccine next year.
Known as COVID-19 type mRNA, the vaccine is being developed in a research project, conducted jointly by Chulalongkorn University, the National Vaccine Institute, and the Department of Medical Sciences. The vaccine candidate had been tested successfully in mice and will be tested in monkeys next week.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to accelerate the vaccine development process, hoping that Thailand would be one of the first to have an effective vaccine for sufficient use.
Dr. Taweesin said that only one new case of COVID-19 was reported in Thailand on 20 May, raising the number of confirmed cases to 3,034. Out of the number of confirmed cases, 2,888 have been cured; 90 are still hospitalized; and 56 have died. The new case was a 45-year old Thai chef working in Bahrain. He arrived in Thailand on 15 May and entered state quarantine at a hotel in Bangkok.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, Thailand ranks top among six ASEAN countries, namely Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand, in terms of people using hand sanitizers and wearing face masks to fight COVID-19.
Across the six ASEAN nations, the majority (86%) have reported wearing face masks ‘always’ / ‘frequently’ when leaving the house. The YouGov news release published on 19 May 2020 said, “Almost all Thais (95%) have worn them ‘always’ / ‘frequently’ in the past seven days – making them the highest adopter of face mask use in the six nations.”
One of the main guidelines from the WHO to protect oneself and others from the virus is the use of hand sanitizers. It appears Thais are the most likely to use them, with four in five (89%) having used them ‘always’ / ‘frequently’ in the past seven days.
The data is based on the interviews of 12,999 adults aged 18 and over across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.