Thailand’s Worst-Case Plan for Coronavirus Revealed

Thai evacuees from Wuhan leave a hotel inside Sattahip Naval Base on Feb. 19, 2020, after completing their 14-day quarantine.

BANGKOK — Military field hospitals and closure of facilities like schools and prisons will be introduced if the coronavirus epidemic took a turn for the worse, a government source said Thursday.

The contingency plan for an uncontrollable spread of the virus was approved by the Cabinet during its Tuesday’s meeting, according to the source. The plan was drafted in case the infection rate reaches as high as 1,000 cases per day and results in deaths, a scenario named by the officials as “Phase 3.”

Measures for “Phase 3” outbreak include setting up military field hospitals in schools, ordering people to work from home, postponing or canceling large public gatherings, and designating emergency disaster zones in areas that are particularly affected.

Crowded facilities like schools, prisons, and military bases will also be shut down in order to contain the virus under the plan.

Thailand currently reports 35 cases of coronavirus infections so far, 17 of which have already recovered and were discharged from hospital, health officials said.

Another government meeting will be held to lay down preparation plans for the disease, whose official name is Covid-19, on Feb. 21.

Additional reporting Teeranai Charuvastra