Public Health Ministry spokesman, Dr Rungrueng Kitphati, said everyone must take strict precautions to prevent another big wave of COVID-19 infections, reports the Bangkok Post.
In particular, people who are outpatients with mild or no symptoms must self-isolate at home for at least 10 days and, if they must leave their homes, such as for a trip to hospital, they must wear masks, Dr Rungrueng said.
“We found that a number of infected patients failed to comply with the 10-day quarantine rule and went out and about, which is likely to spread the disease to others, especially the high-risk group such as the elderly and people with underlying health conditions,” he said.
Dr Rungrueng also said that outpatients should stay in a well-ventilated room separate from others during their self-quarantine.
A separate bathroom for them is also recommended, but if there is only a shared bathroom, all surfaces must be disinfected after use by the patient, he said.
While in self-quarantine, those infected are strongly advised to stay away from people considered part of the high-risk group, he said.
After the 10-day self-quarantine period, they can be allowed freedom of movement, he said.
Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said that after many restrictions were eased, infection rates have been increasing particularly in Bangkok, its nearby provinces and provinces which are tourist destinations.
The five-day holiday period starting from Wednesday saw numerous people travel across provinces and gather for activities, which increased the risk of further infections, he said.
Dr Taweesilp said that even though mask-wearing is no longer mandatory in open spaces, masks are still an efficient tool to protect against the virus. Mask-wearing is still recommended in activities involving large crowds, he said.
Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, director of epidemiology at the Department of Disease Control, said on Friday that the number of patients on ventilators was almost 400 in Bangkok and nearby provinces over the past two weeks. Most of them are in the high-risk “608”’ group, which is made up of people aged 60 and older, those with underlying conditions and pregnant women.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai was discharged from hospital yesterday (July 15) after being treated for COVID-19. Mr Chuan will continue recuperating at home, said his adviser Sukit Atthopakorn.