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If vaccinations continue as planned, Health Ministry says Covid could be “under control” by January



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The Public Health Ministry has announced that if vaccinations continue at the expected rate, the Covid-19 crisis in Thailand could be essentially “under control” by January 1. As the number of vaccines available steadily increases, the hope is that higher rates of vaccination in the country will allow Thailand’s vital tourism industry to reopen further.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Kiattiphum Wongrajit, says people in Thailand might be able to resume their daily activities, under what’s considered “new normal” measures by the start of next year.

“If the vaccination rate continues as planned, by January 1 the Covid-19 situation in Thailand will have greatly improved and people will be able to resume their daily activities under the new normal… By mid-2022, the Covid-19 crisis in Thailand should be largely subdued after more than two years of spreading.”

The permanent secretary says that by the end of the month, they hope to hit the targets of 43 million first doses and 26 million second doses, which is about 61% and 37% of the population respectively. He adds that by the end of November, they aim to boost the numbers to 75% and 55%, and then to 85% and 70% by the end of the year, which Kiattiphum says is the global standard for developing countries.

He warns though that with more businesses and public venues opening up, people need to be diligent in order to avoid infection rates rising again. Covid-19 measures like masks, social distancing, and increased sanitation will be as important as ever.

“If people strictly observe Covid-19 control measures as they did during the lockdown period, we will see a gradual drop in daily cases to less than 10,000 and less than 5,000 in following months.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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