Miss Grand International Thailand has jumped in to help find hospital beds, citing an inefficient government response to the newest Covid-19 outbreak. The beauty pageant has launched the “Covid Patients Must Be Treated” campaign, pledging to use their resources to connect Covid-19 infected patients with available hospital beds for treatment. Miss Grand International president Nawat Itsaragrisil was moved by the recent story of the death of an 85 year old grandmother who begged for help when no ambulance came for her and vowed to take action to stop Covid-19 patients from dying due to lack of availability to medical attention.
Nawat declared in a press conference Tuesday that the Ministry of Health can’t be relied on solely to provide care for Coronavirus. So he offered to use @MissGrand, the pageant’s Line ID, as a contact centre where people with Covid-19 who can’t find a bed can give their information and Miss Grand International will contact hospitals to connect patients with free beds. They will also collect timeline information to help with contact tracing.
The Line ID was flooded in the last 4 days, with 347 requests coming in. Nawat says they struggled but have placed 25 of the 80 patients they took on so far. They even have the lines manned by former Miss Grand beauty pageant contestants like Juthamas “Aoy” Mekseree and Patcharaporn “Nam” Chantarapadit.
With Covid-19 cases and subsequent deaths on the rise, Nawat recognizes they aren’t equipped to help every infected person, but offers their resources as an option for people diagnosed with the virus and unable to connect to hospitals or helplines to secure a hospital bed. He hopes the clout of Grand Miss International can at least get a faster response and help.
Nawat has been hailed for his progressive actions and stances after the organisation supported Han Lay, the Miss Grand International contestant from Myanmar who spoke out about the military coup and the harsh and deadly crackdown on citizens since then. The pageant offered her sponsorship to stay in Thailand, fearing she would be punished or imprisoned should she return to Myanmar.