Coronavirus In Thailand: The Impact

March 24, 2020

It is safe to say that the Coronavirus, known as covid-19 or ‘ko vid 19’ (โควิด-19), has impacted people’s lives worldwide. In almost every country, measures have been taken to reduce its spread and protect people from the flu-like symptoms it shows. This is true in Thailand, where the situation surrounding the virus is constantly changing as news gets out. I wanted to make this article to cover some of the ways that covid-2019 is impacting Thailand and what it may mean for you or any other visitors in the country.

Please note that this is just a basic overview of the current situation. You should do your research from accredited sources and familiarize yourself with how to prevent the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus In Thailand

Thailand was amongst the first countries outside of China to have seen the virus appear. Due to the large tourism industry in Thailand, the country sees many visitors from around the world, including many from China. Adding to that the fact that Thailand actually shares a border with China, and you can see why it was quick to come here.

At the time of writing, about 721 people have been confirmed as infected by the virus.  While that number includes the 52 people who have been discharged and the 1 unfortunate death, that total number is increasing as the days go by, but are mostly linked to a few notable occasions that saw hundreds of people get infected. 

One was a boxing match where many people got infected due to the crowded nature of the stadiums. Another notable case was from a Malaysian Mosque, where an event saw thousands of people attend, including people from Thailand. The infection was spread from there and as the Thai attendees returned home. There was also a case revolving around an entertainment complex where a number of people fell ill.

What Is Happening Now?

Due to all of this, another of different measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Thailand further have been taken. One of the most affected by this is the capital Bangkok, the most populated city in the country. The vast majority of those ill are located here. Therefore, the city has ordered a shut down that has seen most stores and public places close. Only some exceptions have been made, such as pharmacies, supermarkets and food courts. 

Food courts are important for people in Bangkok as, due to many places not having a kitchen, it is one of the only ways to get food. While the food courts do remain open, they only allow for food to be taken away.

Songkran, the Thai new year celebrations that see crowds of people gather a throw water at each other, has been postponed. You can also expect more holidays to be postponed as the outbreak continues.

Thailand is currently requesting all nationals looking to enter Thailand to have a medical certificate from within the last 72 hours showing they do not have the coronavirus, as well as medical insurance that covers covid-19 and offers $100,000 in cover.

You will likely see many people wearing face masks in Thailand, especially in the capital. If you have kind of illness or cough, or are using public transport, it is seen as common courtesy to wear a mask yourself to protect others and yourself. If you think you are infected, then you should contact the authorities of what to do next, which will likely involve quarantine. 

Elsewhere

Otherwise, some issues remain in neighboring countries. The likes of Malaysia and nearby Vietnam have completely shut their borders to foreigners. More borders are likely to close over time, so you should make sure to research daily if you plan to leave the country.

Useful Vocabulary For The Coronavirus

At this time, if you are currently in Thailand for whatever reason, it is worth you learning some vocabulary related to the virus and the symptoms it shows. You can also use these for other emergencies you may find yourself in. 

Fever

A fever is usually one of the first symptoms people get when infected. In Thai, a fever is called ‘khai’ (ไข้). To describe that you feel like you have a fever, you would say ‘khran’ (ครั่น).

Cough

Coughing is referred to as ‘ai’ (ไอ). If you want to explain that you have a cough, you would say ‘mii ai’ (มีไอ). The cough is said to be continuous and dry.

A sneeze or ‘jaam’ (จาม) as it is known is Thai is not a common symptom of the coronavirus. Some people may not know that so you should avoid going out if you are constantly sneezing as a precaution.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is another common symptom of the virus. You would use ‘jeb khaaw’ (เจ็บคอ), which literally translated to sore throat or sore neck, to describe this.

Preventing The Spread Of Coronavirus

Those are the three main symptoms to look out for. There are certain ways to reduce the chance that you get infected too.

Wash Hands

You should wash your hands often with soap to stop the spread of covid-19. The process of washing your hands is called ‘lang moo’ (ล้างมือ). Soap is called ‘sabu’ (สบู่) in Thai.

Avoid Touching your Face

Touch your face can spread the contamination from your hands into either your mouth, nose or eyes which will lead to you getting infected. The phrase ‘touch your face’ is ‘sam phat bai naa’ (สัมผัสใบหน้า) in Thai.

Stay Safe In The Outbreak

This is far from a full breakdown of covid-19 and the challenges faced in Thailand right now. The situation is always changing, so be sure to look out for the latest advice on what to do and how to avoid being infected by the coronavirus in Thailand. I hope that this vocabulary can help you in some way. Stay safe and healthy.

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