PM orders rollout of low-cost antigen test kits, aims to distribute 20 million a month

PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

The Thai government plans to make lower-cost antigen test kits available to the general public through pharmacies and hospitals. According to CCSA spokesman, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha wants around 20 million kits a month distributed across the country, allowing people easier access to proof of being infected.

The Bangkok Post reports that, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the PM has welcomed Thailand’s low death toll from the Omicron variant, adding that there are still plenty of beds and medical equipment and supplies available for all patients.

However, Taweesilp remains cautious, pointing out that the infection rate has not yet stabilised and in fact, is likely to rise. He says people must continue to adhere to disease prevention measures, such as mask-wearing in public, regular hand-washing, and social distancing.

His warning comes as a number of Covid-19 clusters are reported across the country, linked to either restaurants, entertainment venues, hospitals, or schools. According to the Bangkok Post, the provinces of Suphan Buri, Udon Thani, Bangkok, Chonburi, Nonthaburi, Lop Buri, Buriram, Phetchaburi, Surin, and Mukdahan have all reported such clusters.

The PM has tasked various ministries and relevant agencies with devising sanitation plans for schools. These include the Ministry of Interior, Education Ministry, Public Health Ministry, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. It’s understood the Education Ministry is ramping up disease prevention measures at a school in the western province of Ratchaburi, after a cluster of infections was detected there.

In related news, officials are also focusing their attention on a number of provinces where residents are yet to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. These include Narathiwat, Pattani, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Lop Buri and Ratchaburi, while vaccination targets of vulnerable residents in Nakhon Pathom, Pattani, Nakhon Sawan, Sa Kaeo and Nonthaburi have not yet been met.

Meanwhile, Mae Hong Son, Narathiwat, Pattani, Tak, Yala, Kanchanaburi, Lop Buri, Bueng Kan, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Sakon Nakhon have the lowest rate of 2 vaccine doses administered.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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