No matter how people look at it, there will always be a hero in any crisis. And no one deserves the award of the person of the year more than the heroes in white gowns which is for the annus horibilis 2020, a phrase used by the media to honor care staff and over a million health volunteers on the frontlines of looking after the sick.
In the fight against pandemic these health workers became a backbone of help and support. Looking back, The war for pandemic began in Thailand on January 4, the day the Disease Control Department opened its Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).
The battle’s early days were married to problems and a lack of surgical masks in the midst of mutual terror and panic among people. The health staff, on the frontlines, continued to operate peacefully and stoically, losing their health.
Their sacrifice and grace under fire became a significant source of optimism and belief that the nation would survive the pandemic somehow. People were listening to advice from the Public Health Ministry. People around the nation paid tribute to the warriors in white gowns on March 29 by sending them a large five-minute round of applause, expressing admiration for their hard work.
Thailand is among the nations with the fastest Covid-19 recovery rate, according to the Global Covid-19 Index (GCI) published in July. Not only did our healthcare workers’ success win over the hearts of average Thais.
In fact, In November, the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, hailed Thailand as a ‘excellent example’ of coronavirus management. According to the WHO director, there was no mistake. The impressive success of the nation has been the product of the country’s consistent public health investment over the last few decades. When it mattered the most, the gamble paid off.
Morever, The decentralised system of public health care requires any population to be reached by medical staff, nurses and volunteers. Maybe Mae Sot Hospital is the best example. In November, when doctors managed to track over 10,000 at-risk persons and keep the disease from spreading, the city faced a partial lockout.
Yet village health volunteers have become the hidden arm. The Ministry of Public Health acted as agent and messenger between villagers of the region and officials of state health. These volunteers helped the ministry track Covid-19 in communities during Covid-19 and trained individuals about how to defend themselves from the illness.
But not only did the men in white gowns battle the plague. Although health staff work on the frontlines, the ministry’s doctors are struggling to fight the intelligence battle. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration opened in April amid widespread hysteria and disinformation, launching regular news conferences on Covid-19.