Tue, August 16, 2022

in-focus

DDC seeks to reduce Covid isolation from 7 to 5 days


The Department of Disease Control (DDC) will on Friday ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to consider reducing isolation days for asymptomatic Covid patients from seven to five.

Initially, people who tested positive were isolated for 14 days, but that was reduced to seven days in isolation and three days of observation. During the observation period, people were allowed to return to work provided they strictly maintained social distancing.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, DDC director-general, said he will propose that CCSA change the current rule to five days in isolation and five days in observation. This way, he said, asymptomatic Covid patients can leave their homes during the five-day observation period.

Opas also dismissed rumours that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had failed to observe the seven-day isolation when he returned to work on Monday. He said the minister had isolated himself for seven days before returning to work, where he strictly practised social distancing.

Opas also noted that Anutin’s isolation started from the day he started developing symptoms, not the day his infection was confirmed in the lab.

The DDC chief also said it was entirely up to CCSA as to whether it will declare Covid-19 endemic to Thailand.

CCSA was initially scheduled to announce the status last Friday but delayed its decision following a spike in new cases.

Opas said he believes that even if the virus is declared endemic, people in Thailand will continue taking precautions.

As for the spike in cases last week, he said this was because people had started socialising again and also because the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were more easily transmissible.

He confirmed that the Public Health Ministry has urgently called on all state hospitals to get ready for a possible resurgence of Covid cases, but said this was just a move to ensure hospitals are ready to deal with an outbreak.

“It’s better if we are prepared in line with normal procedures,” Opas added.

Published : July 05, 2022

By : THE NATION