Thailand: Shift to ‘endemic’ forecast within 4 months

  • The Public Health Ministry is setting its sights on declaring the spread of the coronavirus disease as endemic within the next four months, said its top official.
  • Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, said the fatality rate in the current Omicron wave is significantly lower than during the previous outbreak.
  • Even though lung infections are on the rise, these numbers are also proportionally lower relative to previous caseloads, he added.
  • Public Health Ministry spokesman Rungruang Kitpati said the fatalities were 10 times lower and studies suggested they will be slashed in half again if 60%-70% of elderly people get a third jab.
  • Dr Kiattiphum said the ministry will hold a press conference soon to outline its management plan for transitioning to managing an endemic disease.
  • In early Jan 22, the ministry said it intended to downgrade Covid-19 to an endemic disease in 2022 as the current wave showed mild symptoms and more people receive vaccines.
  • Officials said lockdown measures are very unlikely to be reimposed despite the surge in infections.

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