Anutin, also deputy prime minister, said yesterday (May 5) that coronavirus-related deaths had gradually declined, as predicted by the Department of Disease Control.
The hospital bed occupancy rate was just 20%, which meant the country had enough doctors, medicine and beds to treat COVID-19 infected patients. Infections among people returning from abroad was only 0.001%, he said.
The health ministry would continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation for now, reports the Bangkok Post. If the situation could be controlled, more restrictions would be eased in preparation for the declaration of COVID-19 as an endemic disease, Anutin said.
He planned to propose to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) that the Thailand Pass system be scrapped for Thai returnees. Later, this could be expanded to include foreign visitors.
Anutin was speaking after a meeting with senior officials of the Public Health Ministry.
Whether the emergency decree should be extended or not was for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the CCSA to decide, he said.
In his view, the imposition of the emergency decree was not a problem because it made it easier to control the disease. If COVID-19 was declared endemic, the emergency decree may no longer be necessary. The public health system was at readiness, and it was not necessary to rely on the enforcement of a law to control the disease.
He urged people to get fully vaccinated in accordance with the government’s goal, because in less than two months COVID-19 disease would likely be declared endemic. Full vaccination would help reduce the severity of the disease and the number of deaths, he said.