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In collaboration with Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), the AHA Centre mobilised relief items as a response to the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand. There are currently more than 4,000 people under quarantine, most of whom are immigrant fisheries workers arriving from neighbouring ASEAN nations.

Ms Adelina Kamal, the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, explained that the mobilisation of relief items aims to augment Thailand government’s ongoing efforts to respond to COVID-19 outbreak in the province. “The ASEAN relief items are mobilised to support the operation of field hospitals that are now being set-up by the Government of Thailand. This mobilisation of support further showcases the solidarity of the ASEAN countries during this challenging situation”, Ms Kamal stated.

Supported by the Government of Japan through Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the relief items comprising of 2,100 personal hygiene kits and 50 family tents, were mobilised from the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Satellite Warehouse in Chainat, Thailand. As of 31 January 2021, four batches of items have been mobilised to two provinces, as well as directly to the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

The first batch (500 personal hygiene kits – PHK) was delivered to Nonthaburi Province on 4 January 2021, and the second batch comprising of 1,000 PHK were mobilised to Samut Sakhon Province on January 8. A total of 50 family tents were also delivered to the Ministry of Public Health as part of the third batch of items on 11 January. The last mobilisation was on January 30, and was made-up of 600 PHK that were sent to Nonthaburi Province. The remaining relief items will be mobilised by the DDPM after finalising the delivery schedule.

It is not the first time that the AHA Centre has mobilised ASEAN relief items to support ongoing operations responding to the impact of COVID-19. During the May to August 2020 period, the AHA Centre mobilised DELSA relief items from all three DELSA stockpiles located in Subang, Malaysia; Chainat, Thailand; and Quezon City, the Philippines. Five thousands PHK were mobilised from DELSA satellite warehouse in Quezon City, the Philippines, and sent to local government quarantine sites across the country as well as one mobile storage unit (MSU) was mobilised to the Department of Health for storing the medical equipment located in Manila. One Mobile Storage Unit and one pre-fabricated office were mobilised from the DELSA regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia to support the coordination and management operations of a field hospital in Selangor. Also, one Mobile Storage Unit and 2,900 PHK were released from both the DELSA regional stockpile in Subang and the DELSA satellite warehouse in Chainat to support the pandemic response in Cambodia.

Such mobilisations of DELSA relief items to support COVID-19 – including the recent activity to support Thailand’s response – is based on the collective decision of the ASEAN Member States during the AHA Centre’s Governing Board Special Meeting in May 2020. It aims to provide specific support through relief items from the three DELSA locations as an interim measure to cover operational gaps in the pandemic responses of ASEAN nations.

Written by : Moch Syifa | Photo Credit : DDPM Thailand