No one expected that the year 2020 would start off with a global pandemic and how COVID-19 pandemic would effect Thailand’s economy. It all started with the first patients with the deadly coronavirus infection from China’s Hubei province.
The wildlife market in the province’s capital city of Wuhan has been named as the source of the infection. The highly contagious virus managed to rapidly spread all around the world, killing hundreds of thousands while over 6 million have tested positive globally. Without a vaccine or specifically tailored effective treatment, the only known way of fighting the spread of the virus is social distancing. There have been lots of theories about the spread of the virus but after more than 2 months of observation, we know that without any social distancing measures in place, one infected person can transmit the virus to roughly 3 others. This is what makes the COVID-19 pandemic a great threat to global security. The virus is costing the world human lives but it also is affecting the global economy. The growth forecasts have been cramped as the world braces for the worst recession since the Great Depression. Millions of people have already lost their jobs in different nations. Some countries afford to pay unemployment benefits to their citizens during this unprecedented crisis. However, others are struggling to provide the population with food and essentials during the pandemic. As a result of differences between the economic development among various countries, approaches to re-opening the economy significantly differ. Nations that can afford to have their economies shut down are not in a hurry to open up for business. On the other hand, less fortunate nations are doing their best to re-open as fast as possible. Located in Asia, Thailand was heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic just like others in the region. It was one of the first countries to experience a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
However, with the effective regulations introduced by the government in time, the nation managed to flatten the curve and practically stop the spread of the virus. Currently, the country has just over 3 thousand cases of the novel coronavirus infection. Fortunately, the number is increasing very slowly, pointing towards the absence of community transmission. For a country of more than 69 million people, this number is quite low. However, the economy of Thailand is still struggling a lot. The nation is highly dependent on tourism and income from international visitors. It has been estimated that the tourism industry makes up roughly 13-14% of the country’s economy. Moreover, 1 in 6 people is employed in this sector.