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10 provinces on Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 watchlist

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: 10 provinces were put on a watchlist with efforts stepped up to fight Covid-19 (via National Foundation for Cancer Research)
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After surges in local Covid-19 infections, the Ministry of Public Health has added 10 provinces to its watchlist to be closely monitored. The 4 Deep South provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala were added to the list, as well as Chanthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ratchaburi, Rayong, and Tak.

While some provinces have already implemented their own tighter Covid-19 safety measures, the ministry will attack the surge of Covid-19 by increasing rapid testing, pushing vaccination programmes, and creating a containment plan to stop the spread.

The ministry has also requested the CCSA assist in creating forward command centres in Covid-19 strongholds in the south, east and central regions in order to manage the pandemic locally and try to accelerate vaccination.

While national Covid-19 infections are down from daily highs around 25,000 to around the 10,000 mark now, authorities have set the goal to halve the daily infection rates and push the daily deaths to under 30 a day.

The hospital bed occupancy situation has come under control now with the implementation of home isolation and community isolation centres for mild or asymptomatic infections, freeing up bed availability for moderate and severe cases.

A vaccination target has also been set to get at least 50% of people vaccinated in every single province in the nation. 51% have now received a first dose, but they hope to get everyone a second injection by the end of this month. For designated Covid-19 free areas that provinces are creating, 80% of vulnerable people and 70% of the population in general are required to be vaccinated.

With 2.8 million Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines planned to be delivered to the problematic provinces on October 19, authorities plan to dole out supplies each week and bring vaccination levels up. An additional nearly 700,000 Sinovac vaccines are set to be distributed to 17 provinces that will reopen to international tourism on November 1.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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