Unicef is contributing to national efforts to expand testing for Covid-19 by providing testing reagents worth Bt5 million. The reagents will support Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute (BIDI), a main centre for testing as Thailand battles the pandemic.
The testing reagents will be utilised in BIDI’s fully automated system, which can test up to 1,440 samples in 24 hours.
“Fast and accurate testing is extremely crucial to better understand the scale of this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Thomas Davin, Unicef representative for Thailand. “Unicef is committed to supporting the Royal Thai Government, including in its efforts to scale up testing, and we will do whatever we can to help curb the spread of virus and mitigate its health and socioeconomic impact on children and families who are greatly affected by this unprecedented crisis.”
Unicef is also partnering with the government, NGOs, the private sector, and other UN agencies, on a number of other initiatives. Among them are:
- Distributing more than 150,000 bars of soap and hand-sanitisers in collaboration with Unilever Thailand, to vulnerable children and young people across the country.
- Disseminating information via mass and social media on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19, parenting guidance during the pandemic, and tips on mental health.
- Supporting community outreach to offer migrants in 18 provinces key messages on health and hygiene practices.
- Conducting surveys and analysing the economic and social impact of Covid-19 on children and young people, especially the most vulnerable.
- Providing recommendations to strengthen national social protection support to the most vulnerable.
- Procuring infrared thermometers for schools and early childhood development centres, as well as developing guidance on safe school operation, to facilitate the return of children to school in the coming months.
“More than ever before, we all need to come together as one to respond to this crisis, with each of us – from organisations, private companies, influencers to the media and individuals – contributing our resources, knowledge and skills. Only through a collective effort can we win this unprecedented fight,” Davin added.
Globally, Unicef has launched an appeal for US$651.6 million to fight Covid-19 around the world and support children, young people and their families in coping with the impact of the pandemic.