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Omicron stabilising, officials consider easing Covid-19 restrictions

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Ministry of Public Health suggests Covid-19 restrictions be eased as Omicron infections are mostly mild.

While infections of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have caused a sharp rise in the daily statistics, deaths and even hospitalisations have not been as affected, causing the Ministry of Public Health to call for an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Numbers of fatalities, as well as those on ventilators and in ICUs still remain low, says Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul.

Omicron is highly contagious, with some estimates saying 9 out of 10 exposed people will catch the virus, but the symptoms and effects are far less severe than the Delta variant. With spiking infection numbers causing mostly mild or asymptomatic cases, the Ministry of Public Health will ask the CCSA to begin easing Covid-19 restrictions to try to reopen life and tourism in Thailand.

Vaccinations have also been key, helping keep the effect of the Omicron infections mild, and officials have urged anyone who is not yet been inoculated to seek vaccination immediately. Next month Thailand will have enough Pfizer vaccine to begin their rollout of inoculation for children aged 5 to 12.

Currently, the figures are low for Omicron’s effects: for every 1,000 infections, on average only 10 to 15 require hospitalisation, with only 2 or 3 of those cases severe enough to require ventilators and intubation. An average of just one death per 1,000 infections is seen in the Omicron variant.

The government has also been preparing for treating Covid-19 infections, stocking up on Favipiravir pills and developing a domestic version of Molnupiravir, both medications that treat infected patients.

The Permanent Secretary for Public Health says that measures in place now have helped contain the severity of the Omicron outbreak and warned that we need to keep vigilant even as the situation stabilises.

“Currently the situation has stabilised, but we still need to maintain strict precautions. Over the last 14 days, new cases increased quickly in the first week. But caseloads have currently stabilised and are in a declining trend. Severe case numbers continue to go down.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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