The Thai pandemic center receives encouragement

BANGKOK: Thailand has been selected by ASEAN members to set up an ASEAN center for public health emergencies and emerging diseases.

Photo: Bangkok Post.

According to the Secretary of State for Public Health, Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the unit will serve as a center of excellence and hub to strengthen ASEAN’s ability to deal with public health emergencies and emerging diseases.

The project passed a feasibility study supported by the Japanese government through the Japan-Asean Integration Fund in 2020, the reports Bangkok Post.

Last year, Tokyo poured another $50 million (1.8 billion baht) into the final stages of building a permanent facility in a select country.

Thailand competed with Indonesia and Vietnam to host the center, with six ASEAN member states expressing support for Thailand, he said.

The official opening ceremony will be hosted by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Friday.

In addition, Dr. Kiattiphum yesterday (Aug. 23) the Apec Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the Health Working Group, which will be held Monday through Friday this week. The conference aims to promote closer collaboration and improve the public health systems of APEC member states in the post-COVID-19 era.

dr Kiattiphum said attendees would take this opportunity to update and enhance the previously agreed action plan to achieve Putrajaya Vision 2040, which includes establishing a network to address health challenges and mitigate the negative economic impact of emerging infectious diseases.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had raised alarms after showing a clear link between emerging infectious diseases and economic collapse.

“We hope that the meeting will come up with concrete plans to ensure that business and health are managed in parallel to build resilience and stability, stave off the threat of further health crises and ensure economic growth and sustainability,” he said.

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