Thai health authorities recommending the re-instatement of mask wearing

The highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants are currently causing problems in Thailand, just like they are in other countries – more hospitalisations but no trend of a higher number of deaths. The downward trend, since April 1, has plateaued over the past month and started creeping up again.

With statistics from many countries suggesting that BA.4 and BA.5 are “highly transmissible,” Thai medical authorities are recommending the government increase the current control and prevention measures.

Australia is now heading for its third Omicron wave in the coming weeks, as the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants become the dominant Covid strains. Similar new waves are hitting Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, and Taiwan. BA.4 and BA.5 are more infectious than previous Covid variants and sub-variant and are showing signs of evading immunity from vaccines and previous infections.

It was only the last week in June that the Royal Gazette posted updated changes from the CCSA which allowed the wearing of face masks to be voluntary in open spaces. Now, according to the head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Siriraj Hospital, to further mitigate the spread of the new sub-variants, the Thai government is recommended “to reinstate Covid-19 measures, including the requirement for everywhere to wear face masks. A recommendation will be made to the CCSA at this week’s meeting.

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“The government should reintroduce stringent control measures, including wearing masks indoors. This is urgent, and we should not wait until there are not enough hospital beds. BA.4 and BA.5 may not be as not as severe as the Delta variant but they are more infectious, and if the number of cases continues to increase, they may mutate further.”

People with Covid-19 are currently quarantined for a week, followed by 3 days of self-monitoring their health. However, the Public Health Ministry will suggest to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that the quarantine period be cut to five days, instead of the current seven days.

Also, people will have to keep a close eye on their health for another five days rather than three.

The next CCSA meeting is scheduled for this Friday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Bangkok Post

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Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.

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