ASIA/THAILAND - Fear and concern for the vaccination campaign that has not yet started: increase in Covid cases

Friday, 21 May 2021

Chiang Mai (Agenzia Fides) - The news that comes from the Camillian Social Center in Prachinburi is not good (see Agenzia Fides May 7, 2021). Father Ferdinando Pistore, a fidei donum priest who works in Chiang Mai, writes to Fides that currently 13 infections have been certified in the Center and the authorities have ordered total isolation for another 121 people present, of whom 82 are elderly and 29 operators. "As of today, May 21, 3,481 new cases have been registered in the country, for a total of 94,203. Thirty-two deaths in one day is a lot - explains the missionary - taking into account that until before Christmas there had been fewer than 60 deaths and there were not even 4,000 infections".
In addition, the detention institutions are particularly concerned: "Of the 3,481 new cases – says the missionary - 951 have been confirmed in prisons, where we are struggling with various clusters. Also of concern are the various outbreaks in Bangkok, an overcrowded metropolis with a dense population that includes shanty towns. In absolute terms, the figures are not very high, but in proportion, they are cause for concern because the number of tests is not high and the vaccines will not be administered to the population until next month.
Added to this is the widespread fear of vaccines by word of mouth generated by people due to some of the deaths after receiving the vaccine". An issue that finds echo in public debate and in the mass media is the origin of clusters, which is often exploited: "As in many other countries - concludes the missionary - the authorities tend, in a completely unjustified manner, to attribute the cause of the spread of the virus to immigrants. Just as similar are the concerns about safeguarding the revenues that come from tourism, thinking about vaccination plans and preferential routes for some locations". (FP/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 21/5/2021)