A global battle against a little-known enemy

Like Thailand, which has declared a state of emergency and partial curfew, other countries are also imposing tough restrictions on their citizens to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Wednesday (April 15).

Taweesin outlined some of the noticeable new measures taken by other countries as well progress in the development of a vaccine in China.

He said Singapore is preparing to quarantine hundreds of foreign workers in “floating hotels”, typically used by the marine industry, as it struggles to contain a second surge of the Covid-19 virus now spreading rapidly through the city-state. Tens of thousands of migrant workers, many from South Asia, live in cramped dormitories across Singapore, which have become the biggest source of coronavirus infections.

China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental coronavirus vaccines as it battles to contain imported cases and prevent a second wave of Covid-19. The experimental vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Sinovac Biotech and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group

Indonesia declared the Covid-19 outbreak a “national disaster’.

France has extended restrictions for another four weeks and aims to gradually begin opening up the economy and schools again from May 11.

In Japan, the governor of Tokyo has declared a lockdown measure to keep people at home while encouraging other provinces to follow suit.

Taweesin cited Japan as an example of a country that had paid the price for lowering its guard too soon. He said initially the number of infected people in Japan was low but once people started moving out, the numbers rose sharply.

He emphasised that everyone should keep in mind that this is a new disease about which scientists do not know much and no vaccine was available. Therefore, living consciously and carefully is the best way to come out of this virus crisis.