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Phuket making strides towards having COVID declared endemic, says PPHO chief

Phuket making strides towards having COVID declared endemic, says PPHO chief

PHUKET: Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) has said Phuket is ready for COVID-19 to be designated ‘endemic’ status on the island following the consistent lower number of cases reported over the past week.

COVID-19Coronavirushealth
By The Phuket News

Thursday 5 May 2022, 03:43PM


PPHO Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon during his live radio interview yesterday (May 4). Photo: NNT

PPHO Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon during his live radio interview yesterday (May 4). Photo: NNT

“We are preparing to  propose to the CCSA [Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration] to declare COVID-19 an endemic disease,” Dr Kusak said during a live radio interview yesterday (May 4).

“The number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in Phuket have continued to decline and we are ready to move forward with the campaign for booster vaccinations for people in Group 608* and students before the start of the semester,” he added.

Since the PPHO reported 180 new cases on Apr 21, with 23 of those confirmed among international arrivals, the number of new cases reported each day has fallen to 53 as of yesterday (May 4). The number of new cases has been under 100 since Apr 25.

Dr Kusak yesterday pointed out that Phuket recorded just 39 new cases and zero deaths.

“This means we can prepare Phuket for Covid-19 being declared as an endemic disease,” he said.

Dr Kusak expressed concern for the slow progress made in providing booster vaccinations to high at-risk people designated as Group 608 patients.

“If looking at the details of the third dose of vaccinations in Group 608, it is still 52%,” he said.

“Therefore, we need to continue the campaign to provide more booster vaccinations to people in Group 608 and students in order to reach the 60% required by the criteria [for declaring COVID-19 ‘endemic’],” he said.

“If people want to be vaccinated, they can walk in at any vaccination service point, hospital or health care centre in their area,” he added.

“As for those who are stuck in the house or in bed, they can coordinate with medical officers. There will be officers to proactively vaccinate all areas as well,” Dr Kusak said.

According to the latest PPHO report on the mass vaccination campaign in Phuket, so far 507,783 people, or 94.18%, of the 539,183 target population have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 482,182 people, or 89.43%, have received two doses.

The PPHO current report marks that 326,430 people have received a third-dose ‘booster jab’, reported as 67.7% of those who had already received two doses.

A total of 125,219 people in Phuket have received a fourth dose of COVID vaccine, reported as 38.36% of those who had already received three doses.

At latest report national figures, including Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, have announced that the government expects to declare COVID-19 an endemic disease in Thailand in early July, “allowing people to return to normal life as planned by the Ministry of Public Health”.


* ‘Group 608’ has become Phuket officials’ preferred term for higher at-risk patients, comprising people over 60 years old along with those suffering from any of the seven recognised medical conditions that place patients at higher risk of developing serious signs of infection, plus women more than 12 weeks pregnant.

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Pooliekev | 06 May 2022 - 19:14:45

Get on the bus? 

christysweet | 06 May 2022 - 10:29:04

Kurt , You got Pfizer  from walk ins I got Sinovax and then AZ  both at Thalang walk in  but  then it went to registration  at PMW which  does not accept  me, and I'd have to travel 30 minutes don a scooter down a dangerous  hwy to HKT. Way too risky.  

Kurt | 06 May 2022 - 07:32:54

Can Dr Kusak of PPHO explain why the Mahogany Vaccination Centre of Vachira hospital is not able me ( member Group 608) to vaccinate a 3rd Pfizer vaccination until yesterday? I just got a reference to PPHPO headquarters. The usual way to bounce you around if they don't know what to do. 

Kurt | 06 May 2022 - 07:12:51

As being in 'Group 608',  can I walk-in Chalong hospital or Dibuk hospital to get a 3rd vaccination with Pfizer vaccine?

 

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