Thailand Develops Own Bio-Hazard Suits in Virus Pandemic

Health officials unveil new protective suits called "Rao Su" (We Fight) on May 8, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand is develop its own bio-hazard suits to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign imports of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as to create employment and business opportunities to local manufacturers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government pharmaceutical organization (GPO) together with the Textile Industry Development Institute and the Textile Federation of Thailand are producing 100,000 sets of “We Fight” edition Level 2 PPE suits, which will be ready for delivery in June and July, said Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr. Sopon Mekthon on Wednesday.

The Level 2 suits are made from polyester fabric with a waterproof coating, and can be washed and re-used up to 20 times.

The suits will be delivered to hospitals to reduce the cost of import and to support local manufacturers of medical equipment, said Sopon.

He said the level 2 suit protects medial staff from low to medium infection risk, enabling them to safely care for patients who do not need a respirator, as well as to collect samples and to screen patients.

The first batch of 44,000 suits are expected to be delivered by the end of May, each estimated at 500 baht (15.67 U.S. dollars).

“We (Thailand) will also be working towards creating our own ‘gold standard’ protective suits such as the Level bio-hazard suits soon,” said Sopon. “But as for now, we need to quickly fill up the demand in Level 2 PPE suits during the pandemic.”

Sopon who himself is a medical doctor, said that Level 2 PPE accounts for up to 80 percent of the protective gear used during the pandemic and Level 4 PPE is used only in cases of high risk.