Majority of Thais Unhappy With Government’s Handling of Covid

The majority of Thais are not satisfied with the government’s management of the latest -- and worst -- wave of coronavirus infections, according to a new poll that cites policy delays, a slow vaccine rollout and lax measures as the reasons.

About 53% of 1,312 respondents said they were either “not quite satisfied” or “not satisfied at all” with the government’s handling of Covid-19 issues since Thailand’s largest outbreak sprouted in early April, according to a poll published Tuesday by the National Institute of Development Administration. Still, 46% of respondents said they were either “quite satisfied” or “very satisfied,” as the government was “doing its best,” the NIDA poll said.

Majority of Thais Unhappy With Government’s Handling of Covid

Since Thailand’s third wave began in April, infections have spread from Bangkok’s night-entertainment venues into the capital city’s crowded communities, prisons, construction-worker camps, and most recently factories in other provinces. Total cases have increased more than fivefold nationwide, while the death toll jumped more than tenfold in two months. On Tuesday, the country added 2,230 new infections and 38 deaths.

Majority of Thais Unhappy With Government’s Handling of Covid

About 62% of the poll’s participants said they would be willing to receive free shots from the government’s vaccination drive that currently relies on supplies from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and AstraZeneca Plc. Another 18% said they wouldn’t get any Covid-19 vaccines, while 16% said they would be willing to pay for alternative shots from private hospitals.

Thailand’s current pace of vaccine rollout is restricted by limited supplies. To date, about 3.6 million doses of vaccines have been administered, covering only 2.6% of the population. The slow deployment risks leading to more infections, threatening the government’s plan for economic recovery and tourism reopening. The official target is to inoculate 70% of the population by the end of this year.

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