Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Experts warn Thailand not immune to second wave of Covid-19

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Kelvin Yup on Unsplash

Despite its seemingly successful suppression of the Covid-19 virus, medical experts say Thailand is not immune to a second wave. Thiravat Hemachudha, director of the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre, says the country cannot afford to let its guard down, adding that it is too risky to become lax about hygiene measures.

“First and foremost, Thais have become convinced that the country is completely free from Covid-19 cases and are now lowering their guard. By not wearing a face mask, frequently washing hands, and maintaining social distancing, they have built risks.”

Thailand has now gone 83 days without a case of community transmission of the virus, but Thiravat says it’s simply not possible for the Kingdom to be completely free of a virus that only emerged 6 months ago and is continuing to wreak havoc around the world. He says the only explanation for Thailand’s statistics is that infected people are not displaying symptoms.

“Young people who are still healthy may not show any symptoms after getting the virus. But though asymptomatic, they can spread the disease.”

He warns that doing away with social distancing requirements on public transport heightens the risk of transmission, as does letting young children return to school, given the challenge of keeping them apart.

Tanarak Plipat from the Disease Control Department agrees, saying Thailand’s chances of experiencing a second wave of the virus remain high. He says the focus should not be on having zero cases, but to control the spread of the virus as much as possible. To do this, he says the public must change the way they view the virus and accept the need to live with it.

“If we detect Covid-19 infections in Thailand, we must try to ensure the outbreak is controlled and does not spread widely. Actually, even after a Covid-19 vaccine is made available, the disease will still be around. It’s just that precautions and vaccinations will prevent Covid-19 from overwhelming hospitals.”

Tanarak points to Vietnam, a country that seemed to have Covid-19 under control, until a sudden resurgence a few weeks ago. The country has now had 964 cases and 24 deaths. Hong Kong’s Covid-19 response was initially highly praised, but the territory has already had to battle a second wave of the virus, and now finds itself in the midst of a third. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand too are dealing with a worrying resurgence of Covid-19.

Tanarak says lessons must be learnt from these incidences, saying people must continue to wear face masks, wash their hands regularly, and avoid crowds. He emphasises the need for remote working where organisations can facilitate it, or flexible hours where they cannot.

“Closed, air-conditioned places have a 19 times higher risk of Covid-19 transmission than outdoor spots.”

He says tracking and testing is in operation, as was evidenced in Rayong following the visit of an infected Egyptian soldier, and that health authorities have sourced additional personal protective equipment to deal with a second wave. This includes 1.12 million N95 face masks, over 500,000 sets of PPE and 11,000 ventilators.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. james

    Monday, August 17, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Well, it was more or less immune to the first wave so we can guess it will be immune to the second wave by some form of magic.

    The UK has one of the highest incidences of positive cases or had at the peak, how do they know? Because they are testing 100,000 people a day.

    How can a country know what the correct figures when they are doing very little or no testing?

    There is no dust under my bed, I know because I have not looked.

  2. Rinky Stingpiece

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Given that 80% of people aren’t really affected; and 80% of the remaining 20% aren’t really affected that much; and the remaining 2% nobody really cares about, it all seems like an extraodinary incidence of global mass hysteria fanned by the internuts and “smart”phones.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video10 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime10 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Sponsored11 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Road deaths10 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand10 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya10 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime11 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Bangkok11 hours ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand11 hours ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World11 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup12 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa13 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand13 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics13 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime14 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending