(Bloomberg) -- Thailand has overcome the novel coronavirus for now by embracing social distancing guidelines and masks amid a lockdown. Those steps also dramatically reduced influenza and pneumonia cases.

Influenza cases in May slid more than 90% to 1,154 from 15,213 a year earlier, according to data from the Health Ministry’s Bureau of Epidemiology. There have been no influenza deaths since February. For pneumonia, there were 8,126 cases in May and six deaths, about half as many as in May 2019.

“All these restrictions, all these public health interventions are having a massive effect on the transmission of many different infectious diseases,” said Richard Brown, a World Health Organization official who has been directing the body’s Covid-19 response in Thailand. “That gives us a lot more confidence that the decrease in Covid-19 is genuine.”

Thailand in January became the first nation to detect the novel coronavirus outside of China, its biggest source of tourists before the pandemic stalled travel. Initial skepticism about low official Covid-19 numbers dissipated as hospitals avoided the kind of chaotic scenes now playing out in places like India. Thailand has limited coronavirus cases to 3,125, with 58 fatalities.

Nearly all of the 25,623 people in an online Health Ministry survey said they wore masks, while about two-thirds kept a two-meter distance from others. Social distancing also contributed to a sharp drop in flu cases in other countries, such as Australia.

Thailand has detected no local novel coronavirus transmission for more than two weeks. Officials have been easing the lockdown and may scrap most remaining domestic curbs on Friday. A state of emergency imposed late March is due to run until the end of June, and nearly all incoming international flights are still banned.

The government is considering so-called “travel bubbles” to reopen its borders. Possible candidates include countries that have curbed infections, like New Zealand and Vietnam, as well as some regions in China.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.