Thailand braces for Songkran surge of up to 100,000 cases per day
Daily Covid-19 infections will double to around 50,000 cases after the Songkran holiday (April 13-15), the Department of Disease Control (DDC) estimates.
Covid fatalities will also rise above 100 per day in the period from April 19 to May, with 3,000 pneumonia cases, and 900 on respirators, it added.
However, this “optimistic” scenario will only occur if the majority of people obey disease control measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and food hygiene.
Widespread failure to obey these measures will bring a worst-case scenario of 100,000 daily infections, with up to 6,000 pneumonia patients – 1,700 needing respirators – and over 250 deaths per day,” DDC Epidemiology Bureau chief Dr Jakrat Phittayawong-anon said on Monday.
Currently, about 500 Covid-19 patients are on respirators, compared to about 1,400 after the Songkran festival in 2020, Jakrat said.
“This indicates that the current Covid-19 variant is causing less severe symptoms, but the infection rate is 2-3 times higher than in 2020 if we positive ATK tests,” he added.
Medical Service Department chief Dr Somsak Akkasilp said 10 provinces with the highest infection rates still have hospital beds for patients with moderate and severe symptoms (yellow and red categories).
“The department has told private hospitals and medical colleges to add more beds for Covid-19 patients if the occupation rate rises above 80 per cent after Songkran,” he said. The department has also boosted its stocks of Favipiravir and Molnupiravir to 75 million tablets in preparation for a surge of cases after Songkran.
Thailand recorded 24,892 new Covid-19 cases and 97 deaths on Monday.