Thailand l Prachatai English
Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to record its first coronavirus case in January 2020. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha declared a state of emergency on March 24 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, upon a physician’s warning that Thailand would have 350,000 cases and 7,000 deaths by mid-April without social distancing. Instead of mass testing, the country channeled its efforts to aggressive contact tracing. Village health volunteers played a critical role in flattening the spread of the virus at the community level. As of July 18, it only recorded 3,246 confirmed cases and 58 deaths.