Why Does Thailand Have Such a Low Incidence of COVID-19 Deaths?

In the following video a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases for a major group of hospitals in Thailand explains why the country has so few deaths from the Wuhan Coronavirus compared with most other countries.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   One of the best hospitals in the world is located in Thailand’s capital Bangkok,
00:04   which in a group of 49 hospitals in a single year
00:07   treats 1.5 million foreign patients
00:11   from over 160 countries.
00:14   The man responsible for the infectious expertise of this hospital group
00:19   is Dr. Thomas Ly, who looks after many personalities himself,
00:23   among them the Dalai Lama.
00:28   A few days ago I consulted one of the well-known
00:33   sources, namely the “Worldometer”, and was able to find out
00:38   that based on its population,
00:42   Thailand has… 80 times fewer cases of Covid-19,
00:47   and 650 times fewer DEATHS.
00:52   In other words, there is obviously a discrepancy here
00:57   that is not apparent.
01:00   What would your explanation be for why these numbers differ so much?
01:05   Um, of course you always have to calculate it down to the population
01:09   and the numbers concerned; we do that too, um…
01:13   We look after, from Bangkok Hospital, from the head office,
01:16   among other things, support, health care in Bhutan
01:21   a country that is very different from Thailand climatically,
01:24   and if you look at those numbers regarding Corona, SARS-Cov2,
01:28   in Bhutan we have had, since the beginning of the pandemic
01:32   that is now a year past, one associated death for every one million inhabitants.
01:37   In Thailand, since the beginning the Corona pandemic we have had
01:41   one Corona-associated death for every one million inhabitants.
01:46   In China, in the country where the NEW coronavirus is said to come from,
01:51   since the beginning of the Corona pandemic we have had three Corona-associated deaths
01:56   per one million inhabitants. Today, March 9, in Germany we have had 866
02:02   Corona-associated deaths for every one million inhabitants.
02:06   The question there is of course justified; “What is the difference?”
02:09   I think the difference is easy to explain,
02:13   In Thailand and Bhutan we examine
02:17   only patients with symptoms,
02:21   because for us there is no reason to say to a person who has no symptoms,
02:24   please come over here and I’ll look to see if you have anything,
02:28   or I’ll look here or there for something. We don’t do that.
02:31   These people don’t go to the doctor, either; only those who have symptoms go to the doctor,
02:35   and so it is there, too. And when someone comes to us and has respiratory symptoms,
02:39   then we do what we’ve been doing for the last few years.
02:42   Then we’ll take the most likely route if he has a cough now.
02:46   Then I have to think about it: the cough can be triggered because he choked,
02:50   but then he will not go to the doctor because it will be over after a few minutes.
02:53   But it can also be that he has open tuberculosis; but it can also be that he has a lung tumor;
02:58   but it could also be that he has a heart problem, that’s why he coughs.
03:02   That means when someone with respiratory symptoms comes along we don’t even get the idea
03:06   to do a PCR test for Corona first. But we say: Let’s see what it is,
03:10   what the colour is, whether there is plaque in the throat.
03:13   Is there anything? And then we treat it accordingly
03:16   Then somehow the differential diagnosis for Corona is gone,
03:19   because there are only very few left where we have not found anything.
03:22   And then we say; let’s go and look for a virus.
03:26   Because with viruses we can only treat symptomatically anyway.
03:31   And then we will also do a PCR test
03:35   But in contrast to other countries,
03:39   we have chosen a different approach,
03:44   where we say: A) we limit the Ct [cycle threshold] level,
03:48   and at the same time we look for at least three sequences.
03:52   And we only do that if one has symptoms, because none of the others come to us.
03:57   This reduces the number of those who test positive and those who were symptomatic
04:02   drastically downwards. We have at the moment I believe
04:05   26,500 Corona-positive tests in Thailand
04:09   since the beginning of the pandemic.
 

11 thoughts on “Why Does Thailand Have Such a Low Incidence of COVID-19 Deaths?

    • Just to be clear: I haven’t had time to watch the video about Thailand in the post, I definitely HAVE watched Dr. Yeadon 🙂

      • Very interesting, Anne.

        I certainly am no expert, but I do question one on his claims; viz that the small changes in the viral genome mean that variants are not dangerous to those who already acquired immunity to the initial variant.

        That might be true for those whose immunity came from prior exposure to the virus or from vaccination from an inactivated virus (like the Sinovac vaccine). However, I question whether or not it’s true for those who received an mRNA vaccine, because it targets the spike proteins only.

        The virus may be able to figure out changes to the spike vaccine, modifying only a small part of its genome, but that would allow it to defeat the binding proteins that the mRNA vaccines create. I would like to hear a virologist address that issue.

        OTOH, Dr Yeadon pretty much sold me on his opposition to vaccine passports enforced by a central database (but I was already suspicious of that idea). BTW, approaching 70, I took the Pfizer vaccine when it was offered to me.

  1. Thailand followed traditional medical practice, whereas other countries, especially in the west, threw traditional, medical practice out the window.

    • Are you serious? SOME people use traditional medicine. Not a lot. Usually for ailments that can be cured by over the counter medications. There is some research into traditional medicine, but not a lot came out of it.

      There is a name for traditional medical practises that work: we call it medical practises.

  2. Thailand is pretty close to the tropics and the sun is always at an effective angle, at least in the southern half. Sunshine-vitamin D- is probably the best prophylactic against a number if viruses. D/sun every day is pretty much proof against seasonal flu and colds and I have seen reports that the vast majority, perhaps all of those admitted to the hospital with Covid are vitamin D deficient. My extended family all had a series of light symptoms in March of last year but it lasted for a few hours to a day.

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