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COVID-19 to be endemic from July

BANGKOK: COVID-19 will be labelled an endemic disease in Thailand starting in July, allowing people to return to a normal life, the Ministry of Public Health said yesterday (Mar 9).

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthVaccine
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 10 March 2022, 09:12AM


A health professional vaccinates an elderly woman against COVID-19 in Nonthaburi province early this month. Health authorities hope to speed up inoculations of elderly people, an important factor in redefining COVID-19 as an endemic disease by July 1 as the National Communicable Disease Committee plans. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

A health professional vaccinates an elderly woman against COVID-19 in Nonthaburi province early this month. Health authorities hope to speed up inoculations of elderly people, an important factor in redefining COVID-19 as an endemic disease by July 1 as the National Communicable Disease Committee plans. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said the national communicable disease committee has agreed with the ministry’s plan that the pandemic designation in the country will end in June.

Under the change, there will be no need for ATK testing for tourists and people will no longer be required to wear facemasks in public, except for those who are sick, reports the Bangkok Post.

“Social distancing and mask-wearing should only be done in areas of risk or at large gatherings,” Dr Kiattiphum said.

“The ministry recommends people keep practising basic universal preventive measures to help curb the further spread of the disease.”

The ministry has been weighing up whether to declare COVID-19 as endemic, after observing that the disease’s mortality rate had fallen to 0.18% of total cases nationwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested the number of deaths should not be over 0.1% for endemic diseases.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the ministry is still implementing measures to manage the disease to ensure that people can return to normal life after the pandemic ends.

He suggested that senior citizens should ensure they are fully vaccinated as fast as possible to reduce the mortality rate, as most of the deaths are among the elderly.

Meanwhile, as announced by the government previously, a health official said that from March 16, COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms will no longer be eligible for free COVID-19 treatment under the Ucep Plus programme and will have to use medical services based on their health insurance scheme instead.

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Kurt | 11 March 2022 - 10:43:34

@Dek ignores the fact that  Ukraine/Russian war requires int.nat airlines rerouting, making the flights longer, more fuel consumption, higher fuel prices. Rising operation costs crews, out station handlings. Lesser flights. Who is paying that? The passsengers! Airlines had 2 difficult Covid years, now the Russian war on top. So many years of uncertainties and operational losses.

Ash Ward | 10 March 2022 - 14:12:12

The high price of fuel in the coming weeks may stop many people from travelling for Songkran.....hopefully less Covid transmissions. 

DeKaaskopp | 10 March 2022 - 12:30:28

@ Kurt   For years you come up with your doomsaying now.Most of the time you were wrong. And look at flight ticket prices.They are not that expensive as you say. Actually people want to go holiday after years of restrictions.And not sure where you got your information about healthy foreigners from.A lot of nonsense.

agogohome | 10 March 2022 - 12:14:13

Kurt being his usual pessimistic self, I see! 

Kurt | 10 March 2022 - 11:08:06

Wait until 1-2 weeks after Songkran, we will see a tsunami of Omicron infections. Than Officialdom falls silent on that 'end of June' intention. Anyway, it will be not important. International tourism will fall dead. In home countries now  sky rocketing gas/electricity/fuel/food prices. Flight tickets very expensive. People have other things to mind than a Thailand holiday this year.

Kurt | 10 March 2022 - 10:53:35

Reading the death reports it is scientifically impossible to say or a person died of Omicron or one or more  'underlaying' diseases. Fact is that foreigners going Thai holiday are in good health and none of them die of Covid-19 in Thailand. That said, it shows general health condition speaks a lot.

Nasa12 | 10 March 2022 - 10:22:43

Fantastic how these people can read 4 months ahead into a glass ball.

 

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