Covid-19 may turn into endemic disease by early July: Thai govt

A spokesman also quoted Thai PM Prayut as saying that the situation has stabilised thanks to the government’s vaccine rollout.

The Nation

The Nation



March 7, 2022

BANGKOK – Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said that in its latest report to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the ministry said the pandemic situation is continuing to improve so its status should be changed to endemic by mid this year.

The spokesman also quoted Prayut as saying that the pandemic situation in Thailand has stabilised thanks to the government’s vaccine rollout and good public healthcare. He said the premier also thanked the public for having faith in his government, adding that though the number of new cases is still high, it has started slowing down.

On Sunday, Thailand logged 21,881 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, which had dipped from 22,818 new cases reported on Saturday morning, though the number of deaths has risen to 59 from 52 on Saturday.

Earlier, Dr Sumanee Watcharasin, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration assistant spokesperson, said Spain, India and China along with the state of California in the US are getting ready to treat Covid-19 as an endemic disease.

Once declared an endemic, people can return to leading their lives as normal, she said.

Before announcing it as an endemic disease, the Public Health Ministry has joined universities and other government agencies to study eight areas that were Covid hotspots and 44 other areas where there were fewer infections. The goal of the study was to see if the country is ready to deal with the disease being declared endemic.

Sumanee said the study came up with the following conclusion:

• Thailand has successfully dealt with the pandemic due to good leadership, good management, good human resources, a good supply of medicines and medical facilities, a good supply of vaccines, good operations and good participation of all sectors.

• Several countries, including Thailand, believe the pandemic is ending because new variants are less dangerous. Also, the rate of infection in Thailand is slowing down and should improve enough to enter the endemic stage by July.

• Thailand’s medical services, disease control measures, medical personnel, medications and hospital beds are ready for patients with severe symptoms. Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms are now being treated as outpatients who can recover at home.

• Apart from ensuring a sufficient supply of medication and vaccines, the government is also supporting the local production of medication and vaccines for future pandemics.

• The government should speed up PR campaigns via social media to reach all groups so they can learn to protect themselves once Covid-19 is named an endemic disease.

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