Opinion: The armed forces has the logistics and knowhow to help with the pandemic, where are they?

Thailand is facing an unprecedented health crisis with thousands dead and hundreds of thousands infected with Covid-19. Thousands more are being infected daily. This has placed Thailand’s healthcare system under tremendous strain.

A report this week revealed that Bangkok only had five per cent of its total hospital beds remaining for Covid-19 patients. Field hospitals built by the government fill to capacity as quickly as they are constructed. People who cannot find hospital beds are left to fend for themselves in makeshift outdoor tents or die without aid on the streets.

We have never seen a crisis of this magnitude.

Even those not sick or dying have faced unimaginable hardship. Lockdowns, economic collapse, and uneven access to subsidies has left people hungry and destitute.

But even as the country teeters on the brink of destruction, there remains one organization capable of helping alleviate some of our suffering, the armed forces of Thailand.

Yet for an organization that professes to be the savior of Thailand, they remain nowhere to be seen. The most we have seen of them is as makeshift guards to keep construction workers locked inside work camps or as backup to Thai police cracking down on peaceful protesters.

This is an organization that has access to the army corps of engineers that can build field hospitals, has the logical knowhow to construct mess halls and makeshift cafeterias, has the infrastructure throughout the country to hold Covid-19 patients in barracks and field hospitals.

The navy has hospital ships and ships that can be converted quickly to be hospital ships while the Air Force has bases all over the country that can serve as temporary shelters for those most affected.

But all we have seen from the armed forces in the past few days are letters asking for an allocation of the Moderna vaccine.

If the army and the rest of the services want to pretend to be our saviors every decade and launch a coup, now that the country is in crisis its time that they actually put money where their mouth is and open the barracks and their logistical services to the people.

Otherwise our perception of them would be completely true, that they are just a self-serving entity who do not care about the people but only keeping their own power.


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