The New York Times may be clueless enough to muse that “no one knows what Thailand is doing right” in its successful battle against the coronavirus, but anyone who actually watched how the country crushed Covid-19 knows it was all about its million-strong army of village health volunteers.
Combined with tight border controls and near ubiquitous mask use, its community volunteers were the country’s frontline soldiers in detecting virus cases and tracing contacts to prevent mass outbreaks.
As this new video from the Thailand Public Relations Department illustrates, volunteers check neighbors for fevers and symptoms, and determine if a new arrival in a village or city should undergo coronavirus testing.
While the country has gone 11 weeks without a locally transmitted case of Covid-19, odds favor a new outbreak or even second wave. So the village army stays vigilant.