Government concern over rising Covid infections may lead to tighter restrictions

PHOTO: PR Bangkok

A steady rise in Thailand’s infection rate is giving the government cause for concern as the Covid-19 task force meets later today. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair a CCSA meeting in which officials are expected to discuss additional measures aimed at managing the recent spike in cases. Yesterday, Thailand reported 14,822 new infections, with 2,635 of those in Bangkok.

At the CCSA meeting today, officials are expected to table tougher disease prevention measures ahead of Valentine’s Day and for the big Songkran holiday in April. The Bangkok Post reports that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will update the CCSA on the Covid-19 situation, but points out that despite a rise in cases, the number of people seriously ill with the virus, and the number of deaths, remains relatively low.

“People who have been fully vaccinated and still test positive are mostly asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, as predicted by medical experts. However, they are still required to follow precautions strictly and get their booster shot as quickly as possible. It may take about a month and a half before case numbers go down. We have to try to co-exist with Covid.”

Responding to advice from the Department of Health that people planning to have sex on Valentine’s Day should take an antigen test first, Anutin appeared to shrug off the suggestion.

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“Don’t worry. Most of them already have close relations.”

Meanwhile, mindful of a rise in sexually transmitted diseases among the young, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration plans to hand out 2 million condoms for free ahead of Valentine’s Day. According to the BMA’s health department director Panruedee Manomaiphiboon, there were 6,450 cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported in Bangkok last year. She says the free condoms will be available across all 50 districts, as part of the BMA’s “Start Safe Sex, Use Condom” campaign.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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