Thailand: Endemic switch on track

  • The Ministry of Public Health is keeping to its original schedule of declaring Covid-19 an endemic disease on 1 Jul 22 despite a forecast indicating an increase in fatalities, mainly among senior citizens.
  • Dr Chakkarat Pitayowonganon, director of the epidemiology division of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said it will be two to four weeks before there is a clear indication if cases will climb to over 100,000 cases per day under a worst-case scenario forecast by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
  • “Right now, we see a decline in the number of daily infections from about 30,000 RT-PCR tests per day before the Songkran festival to only 16,000 cases per day,” Dr Chakkarat said.
  • However, the number of deaths and those patients who need ventilators has increased. The DDC expects these numbers to rise during the first week of May 22.
  • According to the ministry, the average number of people who died due to Covid-19 over the past seven days was 107 cases per day, of whom 90% were elderly.
  • Dr Chakkarat said if there are no other possible risks such as new variants, then Covid-19 will be declared an endemic disease on 1 Jul 22.
  • To prepare for the endemic, he said the ministry must convince two million senior citizens, aged over 60, who still have not had their Covid-19 vaccination, to get their first shot, he said.
  • Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is preparing to propose a plan for an easing of measures to the CCSA on 22 Apr 22.

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