Prime Minister and CEOs To Meet To Discuss Covid Situation

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he would meet with senior executives on Wednesday to discuss the Covid-19 situation and its economic impact on Thailand.

Executives from the national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc and King Power Group and 40 other CEOs will participate in the meeting.

At 2:00 p.m, the prime minister will meet in person with PTT Plc and King Power Group’s representatives. They have requested to donate money and basic necessities to support the country’s fight against the pandemic.

From 2:20 p.m., Gen Prayut and other CEOs will join a video conference to discuss the progress in their efforts to contain the virus and its consequences.

Earlier, when the government began lifting Covid-19 restrictions in September last year, the prime minister invited 70 leading operators to a meeting at Government House.

Back then, commercial operators discussed with Gen Prayut their proposals and ideas regarding officials’ efforts to rescue businesses hit by the health crisis.

Later, on July 8, a group of leading commercial operators known as “40 CEOs Plus” held a meeting to discuss what the government should or should not do if facing a new lockdown.

After the meeting, the group concluded that a blanked lockdown could have severe consequences for the country as many sectors would suffer even more if the case toll did not decrease as expected.

The group also advised the government to partially lockdown only the areas where the Covid-19 situation was very serious while accelerating its vaccination campaign.

Moreover, business leaders recommended authorities prepare more hospital beds for patients with moderate or severe Covid-19 symptoms and adopt home isolation for those infected with mild or no symptoms.

The group also asked the government to make rapid test kits available at affordable prices to improve access to coronavirus testing.

Meanwhile, the Division of Epidemiology’s director Dr. Chakkrarat Phitthayawong-anan said that he expected the strict restrictions to decrease the number of infections soon.

He stated that the new controls imposed in 13 provinces might cause the case toll to decline in a month or two.

Bangkok’s health system would regain its ability to cope with the surge in Covid-19 patients when the new cases figure falls between 500 and 1,000 per day, Dr. Chakkrarat added.

During the partial lockdown, people should avoid going out as much as possible for at least 14 days to curb the spread of the Delta variant, he went on.

People should isolate themselves from their relatives even while at home, especially from the elderly or people diagnosed with underlying medical conditions, Dr. Chakkrarat advised.

He also emphasized that mask-wearing and social distancing remained essential.

Those who suspect they may have caught the virus can get a free Covid-19 antigen test kit.

The free kits are available at the medical clinics of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) primary health care network, Dr. Chakkrarat stated.

Besides, people with mild or no symptoms had been included in the NHSO’s home isolation program, he added.