Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Mass-testing vs contact tracing in Thailand





Yesterday, the Thai government announced that contact tracing (identification of high risk personnel) is the most valid and effective method for battling the Covid-19 outbreak around the country. The spokesperson, and now familiar frontman, of the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin has also revealed that “this is partly because Thailand has limited resources and can not afford to use the mass screening technique to uncover new infections.”

“For example, using Thailand’s top tourist destination ‘Phuket’, which has suffered for the highest ratio for infections, the statistics are as follows…”

  1. Phuket at 44.03 cases for every 100,000 people.
  2. Bangkok at 23.03 cases for every 100,000 people.
  3. Yala at 15.72 cases for every 100,000 people.

Bangkok’s population is 8.281 million whereas Phuket’s population is at only 416,582. The first infection in Phuket, was found on January 26 and the numbers have been rising rapidly, leading to most districts and subdistricts in severe lockdown. The areas around Patong’s Bangla Road and the beachside community of Bang Tao have been the hardest hit.

In response to criticism about the lack of mass screening, Dr. Taweesin says that “4 hospitals that have conducted tests on fairly large sample groups and found relatively low rate of infections. For instance, Patong Hospital tested 1,712 people and found 19 infections or just 1.11 %.”

“Vachira Phuket Hospital tested 763 and found 2 infections or just 0.26 %, while Cherngtalay Hospital (Thalang) conducted 103 tests and found 5 infections or 4.85 %, Thalang Hospital tested 337 people and found no infections. Judging by these statistics, contact tracing has proved to be the most cost-effective and efficient means of finding infections.”

The CCSA has displayed 4 major key lessons learned from the Covid-19 battle…

  • Those in high-risk contact groups have to be identified, and to ensure this measure is effective, the authorities need to enforce strict screening measures and the police have to step in and identify those evading the process.
  • Those in high-risk contact groups have to be completely isolated.
  • Active hunting for cases has to be applied to communities that have a high rate of infections or when contact tracing cannot be applied to all high-risk people.
  • Mass screening is not cost effective as the rate of infection is not high enough. Thailand’s number of cases is low because the authorities have been testing far too few people.

SOURCE: The Nation


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 18,027 infections, expat vaccine registration

Transport8 hours ago

August flight plans: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Politics11 hours ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Koh Samui15 hours ago

UPDATED: Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd small cluster

Thailand16 hours ago

40,000 cases a day could happen by September, says projection

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket16 hours ago

Phuket Sandbox Covid-19 infections: 35 today, 209 this week

Thailand17 hours ago

Prayut says he will not resign, warns politicians to behave

Thailand18 hours ago

Bangkok Train market to possibly close for good

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Border between Kanchanaburi and Myanmar closed until…

Thailand19 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,912 infections, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

PCD says don’t throw away used masks in water bottles after infections linked to bottles

Thailand21 hours ago

Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Thailand22 hours ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8