BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Govt mulls easing virus curbs

BANGKOK: The Public Health Ministry will propose easing COVID-19 curbs in light of the diminishing threat posed by the virus’s Omicron variant.


By Bangkok Post

Saturday 15 January 2022, 10:01AM


Tourists relax on a beach on Koh Samui in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan / Bangkok Post

Tourists relax on a beach on Koh Samui in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan / Bangkok Post

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that even though new daily cases linked with Omicron have increased since New Year, the number of people with severe symptoms on ventilators or in intensive care units is still low, reports the Bangkok Post.

Also, the daily fatalities have not exceeded 20 for a while, he said.

“This is a reason to be confident, for even though Omicron is highly transmissible it is still less severe than the Delta variant,” Mr Anutin said.

“In light of the positive trend, the Public Health Ministry will ask the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to ease as many containment measures as possible quickly. But if there are still threats to public health, the ministry will also propose measures for the public’s safety,” Mr Anutin said.

He also said that vaccinations are crucial to protecting the public against the worst effects of the virus, and those who are not vaccinated have been urged to get their shots quickly.

Mr Anutin added that children aged 5-12 can now get Pfizer vaccines following the manufacturer’s confirmation. Next month, there will be enough Pfizer vaccines registered for children in this age bracket, he said.

He further said that the ministry has instructed the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to ensure sufficient supplies of favipiravir pills for treatment of infected patients.

“We cannot afford to be complacent or let our guard down. We have to prepare just in case,” the minister said.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, said that containment measures have proved to be effective with rates of fatalities and severe cases declining, with this aided by cooperation from the public.

“Currently the situation has stabilised, but we still need to maintain strict precautions,” Dr Kiattiphum said.

“Over the last 14 days, new cases increased quickly in the first week. But caseloads have currently stabilised and are in a declining trend. Severe case numbers continue to go down.

Avista Grande Phuket Karon - MGallery

“The ministry recently raised the alert to Level 4,” Dr Kiattiphum continued, “urging people to follow universal prevention measures, avoid at-risk premises and delay [interprovincial travel]. But we will consider lowering the alert level in light of the situation starting to ease.”

He said the ministry is also considering reducing the 14-day quarantine period for at-risk groups to seven days to enable people to resume their normal lives quickly.

He noted that treatment of infected patients lasts about 10 days while the quarantine period lasts longer.

However, the ministry is waiting for experts to come up with clear measures before deciding to reduce the quarantine period, he said.

But in principle, at-risk people who came into contact with infected people would be quarantined for seven days and undergo two antigen tests on day 5 and 6. If the results come back negative, they would be allowed to get back to work, but would still have to undergo another test on day 9 or 10, Dr Kiattiphum said.

Dr Somsak Akksilp, director-general of the Department of Medical Services, said that there were 46,873 hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients nationwide as of Thursday.

Since most patients infected with Omicron have mild or no symptoms, they will be looked after mainly at home and in community isolation facilities.

Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, on Friday insisted that the Public Health Ministry was not trying to contradict a warning on Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) against treating COVID-19 as an endemic illness like flu, rather than as a pandemic.

Dr Opas said the ministry had only explained to the public how the COVID-19 pandemic could be downgraded to endemic status and given necessary steps to achieve the aim.

“We expect that if everybody cooperates, it should become endemic within this year, not today or tomorrow,” Dr Opas said.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 16 January 2022 - 09:45:04

When Government mulls easing virus curbs than it can make a statement by re-installing 'Test & Go' now!. That will help a lot of Thai people, now in miserable situations, getting back on their feet.

JohnC | 16 January 2022 - 09:24:16

Thailand please do not become blase about the omicron variant just because it's symptoms are not as severe as earlier types. We have already seen how quickly and easily it transmits. Think for the good of the people of this country before caring about more greed.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket hotel isolation measures issued in English

Well, here it is, all well done on paper. Nothing can go wrong anymore. :-) Questions about the pa...(Read More)


Tourist uncertainty hampering Phuket hotel market

A fine article that gives a international independent look into the Thai 'Tourist kitchen'.....(Read More)


COVID to be declared endemic by year’s end in Thailand

Aha, Thailand starts early in economically warming up herself for the next 'High Season' 202...(Read More)


Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

Apologies. A comma was omitted. .."and presto, people became..." btw; presto means voila...(Read More)


NHSO to give mid-teens the pill, condoms

Great. Now give them access to cheap and safe abortions and Thailand will be approaching gender equ...(Read More)


COVID to be declared endemic by year’s end in Thailand

The sentence 'using it's own criteria and with or without WHO" says all we need to know...(Read More)


New chapter with Saudis feted

Why don't you reconcile with Thai muslims before worrying about fixing ties with what is well kn...(Read More)


Woman questions hospital after x-ray fails to find button in 2-year-old’s nose

When I first came here I was warned by expats not to use the Wachira (there is no V in Thai language...(Read More)


Phuket hotel isolation measures issued in English

Have you also translated them in to russian? Let's face it, they are the ones who keep running a...(Read More)


Phuket hotel isolation measures issued in English

A lot of "requirements" but still no information on how they will be enforced. Making hot...(Read More)