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

Login | Create Account | Search


Health officials outline likely scenarios as Omicron spreads

Health officials outline likely scenarios as Omicron spreads

BANGKOK: New COVID-19 infections could surge to 10,000 or even 30,000 cases a day early next year, driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, a senior Public Health Ministry official said on Monday (Dec 27).

COVID-19Coronavirushealth
By Bangkok Post

Monday 27 December 2021, 05:24PM


Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit (left) and Opas Karnkawinpong, head of the Department of Disease Control, during the media briefing at the Public Health Ministry, with the graph on the wall showing the projected upward trend in the number of Omicron variant cases. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya / Bangkok Post

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit (left) and Opas Karnkawinpong, head of the Department of Disease Control, during the media briefing at the Public Health Ministry, with the graph on the wall showing the projected upward trend in the number of Omicron variant cases. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya / Bangkok Post

The warning was issued as the number of new Omicron cases soared five-fold, from 104 on Tuesday to 514 on Sunday, reports the Bangkok Post.

The ministry has drawn up three possible scenarios, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit said.

In the best-case scenario, the country could be looking at 10,000 new patients and 70 fatalities a day as early as late January, and 15,000 new cases in the second-best projection. 

In the worst-case scenario, the figures could jump to 30,000 new cases and 180 deaths a day if Omicron infections quickly spike. 

The briefing did not mention estimated deaths in the second-best scenario.

Graphs presented at the briefing showed the daily tally of new Omicron infections peaking in late January or early February in the best and second-best scenarios.

Dr Kiattiphum said the situation in these two scenarios would be brought under control in one or two months.

In the worst outlook, new infections would reach their peak in early March before the numbers gradually declined.

Dr Kiattiphum said that in the worst outlook it would take three to four months for health authorities to control the situation.

The ministry did not expect the fatality rate from the new variant to be as high as from the Delta variant, but it would likely spread faster.

Daily new infections and deaths currently continue to decline with more people having been vaccinated, but Omicron threatens to reverse that trend, with Thailand recording its first case of Omicron on Dec 6 and the first community infection on Dec 20.

Dr Kiattiphum said strict health measures, the vaccination campaign and cooperation from the public, including strict observation of social distancing rules, would determine the success or failure of the fight against Omicron.

“We are at a crossroads again,” Dr Kiattiphum said.

CASES JUMP

Omicron cases jumped five-fold, from 104 last Tuesday to 514 on Sunday, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported on Monday.

“Two-thirds of the Omicron cases were arrivals and the other third were people in close contact with infected people,” CCSA spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said.

The biggest cluster originated with a couple who returned to Kalasin from a visit to relatives in Belgium on Dec 10. They had infected 21 other people as of last Friday.

The Delta variant still accounted for 56% of new cases in the country, but Omicron was  expected to take over very soon, according to the ministry.

HOLIDAY SURGE

Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, said the ministry was concerned about a likely rise in new cases after the holiday season as a result of the movement of people and their close contacts with others.

Infections would rise from people returning to home provinces to mark the New Year with their families, and revellers at New Year countdown events.

“A wider spread of the virus is expected after the New Year celebrations,” Dr Opas said. He advised offices that have adopted the work-from-home format to continue with it to help limit the spread of the disease.

Although the country is under threat from the new variant, Dr Kiattiphum said, hospitals nationwide had sufficient beds to handle the situation because of the low 10% occupancy rate at present.

“We have more than enough hospital beds,” he said. “We have been through Delta, which was deadlier.”

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

maverick | 28 December 2021 - 14:47:54

Nasa12@ the Tui story is bollocks it’s just been refuted in the media 

Capt B | 28 December 2021 - 14:11:49

School exams in a few days time. Time to shut down all the schools & education facilities in Phuket.
The kids are getting infected at schools & bringing it home to their families. The strategically designed CC Bio-Weapon is doing exactly what it was designed to do by destroying world economies & societies. A temperature test is a total joke with the new c-19 strain.

maverick | 28 December 2021 - 12:46:24

With all these airlines pulling out the ME carriers will have a field day, my daughter flew in on 24th flight was rammed full.....great to see life again in the resorts allbeit small numbers for a while - many on this forum won’t be happy with that .......

ThomasT | 28 December 2021 - 11:53:17

Obviously Dr Kiattiphum is totally unaware that a Thai Pathologist in Germany has internationally  broadcasts the work of one of Europe's top pathologists,  Prof Dr Arne Burhardt.. these are the results of his 70 autopsies on mRNA injected.   ''Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Never More Brilliant, Lays The Utter Truth Out - Autopsies Prove Vax BioWeapon''
Caused Autoimmune Attacks And De...

Kurt | 28 December 2021 - 10:35:14

A couple, returning from Belgium on the 10th, just infected 21 others in/around Kalasin since last Friday, 24th??   Give me a break, who believes this nonsense that they between 10th and 24th not infected any one?

Kurt | 28 December 2021 - 09:06:29

BA cancelled Thailand flights till mid October 2022. More airlines will follow to adjust flying on Thailand.  Simply alone already due to many Omicron infections among flight crews. Last weekend only were for that reason worldwide about 8000 flights cancelled and thousands delayed. A external factor also Thailand has to face.

Nasa12 | 27 December 2021 - 18:53:52

TUI Nordic have canceled  every flight to Phuket from Scandinavia, because the flip flopping of the rules in LOS. -30000 ++ tourist.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

@christysweet What are 'presto people?'...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

...white light restaurants, and must renew permits for the silly reason the alcohol time window goes...(Read More)


Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

Without traffic lights pedestrian crossings in any country are a hazard for everyone involved Stop...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

Very good famous journalist Jonathan Miller shines his view about the sloppy nonsense Phuket hospit...(Read More)


Phuket vows tough action on unmasked tourists

You would think in all fairness that all people not wearing masks would be prosecuted, not only tour...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

Cue inbound 'defamation' charges for the Sunday Times exposing the truth. The whole thing is...(Read More)


Foreigner shot at Patong resort

@JohnC- nice bit of casual racism going on there. Any proof to back up your comment? One wonders why...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

most of those hospitel do not even have proper hotel licence.... that a fact......(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

thos hospitel are all local run businesses, therefore they all are holes and crappy places....there ...(Read More)


Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

Things can change - and quickly. Look at Times Square in NY City. The Mayor started enforcing the s...(Read More)