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Covid-19 close to becoming endemic in Thailand, says virologist

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Thailand should be able to declare Covid-19 endemic soon as most citizens have developed an immunity to the virus either from vaccines or infection, expert virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan said on Friday.

He pointed out that most Covid-19 cases officially reported nowadays are people who test positive via RT-PCR tests. He reckons most patients who have not been included in the daily case report are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Thailand recorded 2,836 infections and 24 deaths on Friday.

He added that 20 per cent of unvaccinated five-year-olds in Bangkok have contracted Covid-19 and half of them developed symptoms.

“Most citizens have developed immunity against Covid-19 from vaccines and/or infection, which has helped reduce the disease’s severity,” he said.

He said deaths due to Covid-19 in Thailand should settle at around 0.1 per cent or one among 1,000 people, adding that most deaths are among the elderly and people with chronic diseases who have not received their third jab.

Dr Yong also expects the quarantine period to be reduced to seven days as most have been vaccinated and will recover faster than those who have not been vaccinated.

He said in Singapore, students who have contracted Covid-19 and have symptoms can stay home for seven days, while the asymptomatic can continue attending classes.

He pointed out that children usually do not have severe symptoms from Covid-19, except infants as they have not been vaccinated and do not attend school.

Sick leave and the period of school closures should be shortened once most students have developed immunity against Covid-19 he said.

He said fully vaccinated students who have contracted the virus should take online classes for seven days.

Published : June 10, 2022

By : THE NATION