Thailand’s leader says he will appeal directly to the country’s 20 wealthiest people for assistance in overcoming the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a televised address that the government alone cannot solve the health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic, so other sectors should join what he called “Team Thailand”.
“The first thing I will do next week is to send an open letter to the 20 richest people in Thailand to ask them to tell me, as they are respected elders of our society, how they will help us and how they will help Thailand more,” Mr Prayuth said.
He said the country’s billionaires have a tremendous influence on its economy and are wealthy even by international standards, so they could play important roles in Team Thailand.
The list of Thailand’s 50 richest individuals and families compiled by Forbes magazine puts 27 in the billion dollar bracket.
Topping the list is the Chearavanont family, which owns the CP Group, one of the world’s biggest conglomerates.
Thailand’s royal family controls the country’s biggest fortune, but Mr Prayuth was clearly calling on the business community.
He also said he will reach out to small and medium-size enterprises to get a better picture of their situation than by having information filtered through various agencies.
Thai health authorities on Friday announced 28 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 2700 including 47 deaths. They said 1689 patients have been discharged.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?
The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar, as they both can cause fever and respiratory issues.
Both infections are also transmitted the same way, via coughing or sneezing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus.
The speed of transmission and the severity of the infection are the key differences between COVID-19 and the flu.
The time from infection to the appearance of symptoms is typically shorter with the flu. However, there are higher proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing involved minimising contact with people and maintaining a distance of over one metre between you and others.
When practicing social distancing, you should avoid public transport, limit non-essential travel, work from home and skip large gatherings.
It is okay to go outdoors. However, when you do leave home, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.
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