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Thailand’s ‘real’ Covid numbers far higher than reported: expert

Thailand’s ‘real’ Covid numbers far higher than reported: expert

FRIDAY, July 08, 2022
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The actual number of Covid-19 infections in Thailand may come in at more than 78,000 patients per day, and people have been advised to protect themselves and their family members.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Chulalongkorn University’s Assoc Prof Dr Thira Woratanarat pointed out that the Public Health Ministry only reports infections that have been confirmed by an RT-PCR test. This comes in at about 2,000 cases per day, but infections that have yet to be confirmed are much higher than that.

Thira, who lectures at the Faculty of Medicine, said that though the mask mandate has been lifted in many public places, wearing a facemask is still key to preventing the virus from spreading.

“Most importantly, people should wear the mask correctly for maximum protection. This means the mask should cover both the nose and mouth with no openings at the cheeks,” he said.

“If you are not sure about the protection provided by one mask, then wear a fabric mask on top to keep it pushed against your face,” the medical expert said. “People who are in close contact with infected persons, like medical professionals or family members, are advised to wear an N95 mask or equivalent.”

Thira added that it was difficult to stop the virus from spreading among family members as people tend to lower their guard at home.

“People living with their families are advised to monitor their symptoms closely and perform ATK tests periodically. If any member is infected, they should be isolated immediately,” he said.

“Covid-19 vaccines help prevent severe symptoms and death, but they are not 100 per cent effective yet. Wearing a facemask and avoiding high-risk places are still key to protecting oneself from the virus,” said Thira.

On Friday morning, the Public Health Ministry reported 2,144 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 20 fatalities over 24 hours. Also on Friday, 1,946 patients had recovered and were discharged from hospitals. Thailand’s total Covid cases since January 1, 2022, stands at 2,317,520 and at 4,540,955 since the pandemic started in early 2020.