Health ministry says Covid-19 will become endemic in Thailand this year

PHOTO: WHO Thailand

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry plans to move Covid-19 from pandemic status to endemic status this year. According to a Bangkok Post report, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit says this can be achieved thanks to people cooperating with the vaccine rollout. While the Omicron variant is highly-contagious and spreading rapidly across the country, symptoms are milder and the death rate is lower.

“The disease naturally reduces its severity on its own and everyone in Thailand is cooperating with the vaccination drive. Consequently, the disease can do no harm. Besides, there are effective operations for treatment and the slowdown of outbreaks. These will make it possible for the disease to become endemic.”

Kiattiphum says the ministry’s strategy this year is to reduce the speed of transmission as rapidly-spreading infections will place too much pressure on the healthcare system and could also lead to new mutations. He believes that as the ministry now has enough vaccines available, the strategy can be achieved and then life can return to some semblance of normality.

“When the disease becomes endemic, business and activities can quickly be restored.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Kiattiphum says people with only mild symptoms can self-isolate at home, alleviating pressure on hospital beds. The ministry will supply them with medication and equipment to monitor their symptoms and anyone who develops severe symptoms can be transferred to hospital.

Kiattiphum says the public must now cooperate with getting vaccinated and using antigen test kits if they suspect they’re at risk. Meanwhile, businesses must implement Covid-free settings and test their staff regularly with ATKs. He says if everyone adopts these measures, it will help the country achieve the goal of making Covid-19 endemic.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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