Prime Minister takes over "rollout" of vaccine in Thailand
While other countries are talking about their successes in getting the vaccine to the people Thailand remains in a state of disarray in regards to this. Also, as you would expect if you have lived here even for as short an amount of time as I have, there are certain people that are getting preferential treatment as far as the queue is concerned and also certain businesses with political ties are seeing their vaccines administered to their workforce first.
This obviously makes a lot of people upset in the community even though this is just how things have always been in this country: Virtually everything that happens where the government is involved is corrupt to the core.
The Health Minister of Thailand has been subjected to a great deal of public scrutiny as of late because the country once again finds itself in a state of lockdown in most of the provinces in the country and this includes curfews, mandatory mask-wearing, and "no go" red zones.
I'm aware how much of the community is against the administering of the vaccine anyway and I am kind of with you on that. I am not afraid of a disease with a kill rate of less than a tenth of a percent.... but for the sake of showcasing the ineffective nature of the government here, I am only going to focus on the fact that once again, so many promises were made by the That government and they either change them on a bi-weekly basis or completely renege on the probably very optimistic promises that they made in the past.
For one thing, it wasn't that long ago that the Prime Minister proudly boasted that they had secured 30 million doses of some form of the vaccine. That is enough doses for nearly half of the population to get their first jab and I would imagine that the PM wanted some sort of recognition for this. Ok, I'll give credit where credit is due but riddle me this Batman.... where TF are these doses?
Tourism areas such as Phuket and Samui were meant to be a priority as far as distribution is concerned but as of today, nearly 40 days after the initiative to vaccinate these islands first, a mere 70,000 of Phuket's estimated half a million residents have gotten the first shot. When various individuals inquire at public or private hospitals about when they can expect to receive their shot (free or paid) the answer is "we don't know, nobody knows."
The usual finger-pointing started taking place at the highest levels this week and the Prime Minister himself has stated that he is going to take over the rollout of the vaccine as the popularity of the Health Minister is dropping and there is actually a petition gaining momentum to have the Minister removed. The Prime Minister, himself a wildly unpopular public figure, was quick to throw his health minister under the bus.
Private hospital directors are frustrated because they have secured their own supply and simply need the government to sign off on it for the shipment to happen - but since everything has to go through the government, and the government is not replying to these requests at all, the shipments do not happen.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks two things there: The government wants to be in charge of all of this, even though they are proving they are incapable of performing this rollout of vaccine and also that Prime Minister Prayut, who was facing massive protests before Covid decrees made it possible for him to make everyone go home out of fear, is attempting to prevent additional protests and also wants to appear as though it is through him and him alone that the people end up with a vaccine at all. He is trying to make himself a hero through an intentionally created crisis.
At the moment things in Thailand seem to be heading back to lockdown state, with terms like flattening the curve and what not being thrown around again.
While I am not enthusiastic about taking a vaccine I am even less enthusiastic with a government that is completely incapable or unwilling to help its people.... and that is exactly what we are seeing happen right now.