UNICEF provides COVID-19 testing reagents
to support national pandemic response in Thailand
BANGKOK, 23 April 2020 – UNICEF is contributing to national efforts to expand testing for COVID-19 by providing testing reagents worth 5 million baht. The reagents will support Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute (BIDI), one of the main public health institutions under the Department of Disease Control responsible for testing and treatment of COVID-19, to help increase its testing capacity in support of Thailand’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
The additional reagents will help strengthen BIDI’s laboratory capacity in response to the increased requirement for COVID-19 testing over the past months. The UNICEF-supported testing reagents will be utilized for BIDI’s fully automated system, which can test up to 1,440 samples in 24 hours. It is very high throughput platform compare to the manually testing and reducing turnaround time.
“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.”
In addition to providing COVID-19 testing reagents, UNICEF is contributing to national efforts by partnering with the Royal Thai Government and other partners such as NGOs, the private sector, and other United Nations agencies, in a number of initiatives including:
- Distributing more than 150,000 bars of soap and hand-sanitizers, in collaboration with Unilever Thailand, to vulnerable children and young people across the country;
- Disseminating information materials including on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, parenting guidance during COVID-19, and tips on mental health, through mass media and social media channels;
- Supporting community outreach to provide migrant communities in 18 provinces with 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 organizations, private companies, influencers, the media, and individuals- contributing our resources, knowledge and skills. Only through a collective effort can we win this unprecedented battle,” 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.
To donate online, visit: http://www.unicef.or.th/covid19
By Bank Transfer: Bangkok Bank Account no. 201-3-01324-4
Please send your contact information (name, address, mobile phone number) together with pay slip to UNICEF and indicate “Covid-19” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find accurate information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus by visiting: www.unicef.org/thailand/coronavirus/covid-19
To Join UNICEF’s volunteering programme to help fight COVID-19, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/thailand/i-am-unicef
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.