Mon, June 27, 2022

in-focus

Thailand on high alert for new virus wave as Songkran trippers return


The Department of Disease Control (DDC) expects a wave of Covid-19 cluster outbreaks to hit Thailand over the next two to four weeks, following the end of the Songkran holiday.

“After the holiday, new cluster cases could emerge as people who travelled back to their hometowns return to work and interact with others,” said the department’s Epidemiology Bureau chief Dr Jakrat Phittayawong-anon on Monday.

“The DDC will monitor the situation closely and evaluate periodically over the next 2-4 weeks,” he said.

Jakrat added that the current rates of infection, hospitalisation and daily deaths from Covid-19 are still within the department’s estimate. Pneumonia patients now number around 2,000 with about 900 needing respirators, which is lower than the numbers during the Delta outbreak last year.

“To keep the hospitalisation and mortality rate low we need to prevent the virus from spreading to people in vulnerable groups – namely the elderly and those with underlying health problems – by following three measures,” said Jakrat.

The measures are:

1. Isolate at home for at least 5-7 days after returning from Songkran trips and monitor for symptoms. Before returning to work, take an ATK test.

2. Avoid sharing meals with others or visiting crowded areas. Always wear a face mask in public.

3. If possible, work from home.

“These measures must be implemented together with the universal prevention practices, including getting vaccinated and receiving a booster shot every four months,” said Jakrat.

“Currently most Covid-19 deaths are among people aged over 70, those with chronic health problems and people who have yet to receive a booster shot.”

On Tuesday Thailand recorded 16,891 new Covid-19 cases and 129 deaths over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile 24,927 patients recovered and left hospital.

The country has logged over 1.8 million (1,840,409) cases so far this year.

Published : April 19, 2022

By : THE NATION