A Department of Health poll shows that most Thais are worried that New Year celebrations will spark another wave of Covid-19 infections. In particular, they cite an outbreak of the Omicron variant as a major cause for concern. According to a Bangkok Post report, department chief Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai says the mass movement of people during the holiday period has the potential to spark a surge in infections. He says people must keep their guard up and continue to adhere to disease prevention measures.
“The ministry’s concern about mass gatherings during the New Year festival is no different from the latest poll we conducted. It showed that people are afraid of possible outbreaks of the new Omicron variant.”
The Bangkok Post reports that the survey, which allowed for multiple answers, was conducted between December 1 and 20. Of 3,029 Thais surveyed, 82% have voiced concerns about a new Covid outbreak over the holiday period. 75% say large gatherings and travel are a cause for concern, while 70% say they’re particularly worried about the Omicron variant. 47% say they fear the holiday celebrations will lead to a rise in the number of new daily cases.
However, 50% say they’re not too worried and believe Thailand must learn to live with the virus. 45% say they have confidence in the disease prevention measures that businesses have in place, while 39% say they’ve become accustomed to living with Covid-19.
65% of respondents believe nightlife venues, including pubs, clubs, and karaoke bars, continue to pose the most risk. 60% point to tourist sites as being risky, while other potentially unsafe locations include markets (48%), department stores (45%), public transport (44%), and restaurants (42%). 22% of respondents say convenience stores could pose a risk, while 21% point to hotels, and 18% mention religious sites.
The Bangkok Post reports that of those surveyed, 84% plan to hold New Year’s Eve parties at home, with 17% saying they’ll celebrate 2022’s arrival in a restaurant and 16% will do so at other events.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post