Health ministry says Covid-19 could be considered endemic in Thailand by July

PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s health ministry believes the Covid-19 situation will have improved sufficiently for the illness to be considered endemic by July. According to a Nation Thailand report, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says the situation continues to improve, paving the way for the virus to be moved from pandemic to endemic status by the middle of the year.

He adds that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has credited the government’s vaccine rollout and the healthcare system for the progress made. The PM has also acknowledged the role played by the public in adhering to disease prevention measures. While Thailand’s infection rate is still high, it has started to slow down. Yesterday, the kingdom reported 21,881 new cases, down from 22,818 on Saturday. However, the number of Covid-related fatalities rose from 52 on Saturday to 59 yesterday.

Dr Sumanee Watcharasin from the CCSA says a number of other countries and regions, including Spain, India, and the US state of California are preparing to treat Covid-19 as endemic. Once the virus is categorised as endemic, people can return to living life as they did before the pandemic. Sumanee says the health ministry has consulted with a number of government agencies and universities to study 8 areas considered hotspots for the virus, along with 44 other areas with low infection rates.

According to the Nation Thailand report, the study concluded that Thailand has managed the pandemic successfully, through measures such as the vaccine rollout, the provision of medication and medical facilities, and disease prevention measures. Patients who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms can now receive outpatient treatment and recover at home.

The government is also supporting the development of new vaccines and medical treatments and the infection rate is now slowing. Sumanee says a number of countries are hopeful the pandemic is ending, due to new variants being less dangerous. He says the government should launch campaigns that teach the public how to protect themselves once the virus is given endemic status.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

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