Anutin says government needs to balance public health needs with economic recovery
Thailand’s Public Health Minister says the country needs to balance economic recovery with the need to protect public health. Anutin Charnvirakul was addressing a Bangkok Post conference yesterday when he said striking the right balance is a priority for the government.
Covid-19 infection numbers are currently soaring as a result of the highly-contagious Omicron variant, but Anutin expects the infection rate to start dropping soon. Once that happens, he says the government will review measures, taking into account the Covid situation globally.
“After the Omicron infections reach their peak and case numbers drop, with more international travellers, Thailand will devise measures to suit the changing global situation. We will find a balance between public health safety and pursuing economic recovery.”
The health minister went on to say Thailand should view the Omicron variant as an opportunity, given that it is far less severe than its predecessor, Delta.
“We should change the way we look at the crisis. Instead of seeing ourselves struggling to overcome it, we should find or create an opportunity in the crisis. With our experience in dealing with the outbreak last year, we can also handle Omicron very well.”
Anutin went on to point out that most deaths in Omicron patients were the result of other health conditions or because they were unvaccinated. He says there are still enough hospital beds to accommodate those who are seriously ill, while asymptomatic patients or those with only mild symptoms can self-isolate at home. The health minister also urged those who have not yet been inoculated against Covid-19 to get vaccinated.
“There are now enough vaccines to administer booster shots for all Thais and foreign expatriates. More than 120 million vaccine doses have been administered to Thais and expatriates. Some 75% of the population received their first shots, and 26% got their booster shots. About 90 million more vaccine doses will be procured this year.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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