Thailand’s PM Prayut orders health services to prepare for post-Songkran Covid spike

Government spokespersons announced yesterday that Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the country’s health institutes to prepare for a spike in Covid-19 infections following the Songkran holiday, when people return to work. This includes the Ministry of Public Health, and other state agencies.

Today, there are 128 new Covid-related deaths, and 17,775 new cases recorded. The number of new daily Covid cases continues to trend down for the past 2 weeks, whilst deaths are slowly trending upward. Today is the highest number of Covid-related deaths since numbers have been over 100 for the past 8 days.

Bu health authorities have continually warned of a possible surge during Songkran when Thais traditionally head back home for the Thai new year.

A spokesperson reported that PM Prayut is confident that Thailand has adequate medical supplies and healthcare resources for the current situation, or any possible surges post-Songkran. Thailand’s National Health Security Office has more staff working on its hotline to meet the expected demand for help with Covid-19 care and advice after the Songkran festival.

Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the NHSO recommends people observe their health for a week to 10 days for signs of infection, which may include a high fever, cough or runny nose. Meanwhile, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said Prayut seeks to better inform the public on ‘long Covid’. Traisuree said long Covid is now more common following the rise in number of cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variants.

Dr. Thira Woratanarat, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, told the Bangkok Post that “long Covid is a real cause for concern”.

“Long Covid is real. Don’t be fooled by the illusion that Covid-19 is more or less like a common flu, takes a little time to recover from and will soon become an endemic disease”.

Some ‘doomsday’ predications from a few doctors in Thailand speculated daily cases could reach 100,000 in the months after Songkran. Their predictions have not been repeated by the Government or CCSA.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Worldometers

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.