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DDC drops reports of ATK-positive cases

BANGKOK: The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has stopped reporting COVID-19 infections using rapid antigen test kits (ATK) and plans to report only cases that require hospitalisation.

CoronavirusCOVID-19health
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 29 May 2022, 10:52AM


A medical worker administers the nasal swab component of an antigen rapid test in Pathumwan district, Bangkok, last month. Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut

A medical worker administers the nasal swab component of an antigen rapid test in Pathumwan district, Bangkok, last month. Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut

Dr Sumanee Wacharasint, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the change is being proposed to reflect the current situation where most COVID-19 patients have no or mild symptoms and choose home treatment.

She discussed the proposed change to the way COVID-19 infections will be reported after positive COVID-19 cases using ATKs were dropped from the DDC’s dashboard, reports the Bangkok Post.

Dr Sumanee insisted the revised reporting will not affect the Public Health Ministry’s monitoring of COVID-19, adding the DDC wants to focus on patients who require hospitalisation.

“The ministry’s case reporting has already been revised to the two-week average, but the CCSA still gives an update of the infections on a daily basis.

“Changes are being introduced to COVID-19 reporting and, after June 1, we plan to report only the cases with symptoms and requiring hospitalisation,” she said.

The proposed change will be submitted to the meeting of the ministry’s emergency operations centre (EOC) tomorrow before it is adopted by the CCSA, she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Thira Woratanarat, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, on Saturday urged people to continue wearing face masks.

In a clear criticism of the ministry’s new tracking approach, he wrote on his Facebook: “No positive ATK infections are reported. The infections drop sharply. The fatalities drop sharply. What a nice job. Trust and confidence must skyrocket. We must put on face masks. It’s very important.”

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Elsewhere, Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Toopkrajang, chairman of the Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), said yesterday (May 28) the province is ready for the planned lifting of the face mask mandate.

Pathum Thani residents, he said, had endured the outbreak and are well prepared to protect themselves and live with the virus.

The announcement follows the Public Health Ministry saying the mask requirement would be eased in designated areas and that regulations may be adjusted around mid-June.

The easing of face mask wearing will have to be approved by the CCSA and published in the Royal Gazette.

Some say the relaxation will be adopted in 31 provinces in the green- and blue-zone provinces.

Pathum Thani is one of the blue zones or tourism-oriented provinces.

The high-risk “608” group - comprising people aged 60 and above, those with underlying conditions and pregnant women - are advised to wear masks in certain areas, as are all people in crowded spaces.

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