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Stay home ‘or share Italy’s COVID experience’

Stay home ‘or share Italy’s COVID experience’

THAILAND: People must stay home and not socialise, or Thailand will become like Italy with coronavirus patients overwhelming health resources and medical personnel having to decide which patients to treat, or not, the dean of the faculty of medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, warned today (Mar 23).

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthSafetytourism
By Bangkok Post

Monday 23 March 2020, 04:57PM


Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa, dean of the faculty of medicine Siriraj Hospital of Mahidol University, warns of the need for strict social-distancing, on the university’s online TV channel today (Mar 23). Photo: Screenshot from the Mahidol University channel

Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa, dean of the faculty of medicine Siriraj Hospital of Mahidol University, warns of the need for strict social-distancing, on the university’s online TV channel today (Mar 23). Photo: Screenshot from the Mahidol University channel

Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa issued his caution via the university’s online television channel.

He said the number of people with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Thailand was soaring, like those of the European countries that were unable to control the disease.

He blamed the situation on people who visited virus-spreading venues like boxing stadiums and pubs, and refused to self-isolate.

Countries that failed to control the disease saw COVID-19 cases rise from 100 to 200 in three days. The increase in Thailand took 3.5 days, Dr Prasit said.

“If we do nothing, we will become a country that is unable to control the disease,” he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand was rising by 33% daily. At this rate, the number of infections would reach about 350,000 and deaths total about 7,000 by April 15, Dr Prasit said.

The number of critically ill people would by then be about 17,000 - and that would exceed the country’s medical resources.

“That would be like the situation in Italy. Decisions would then have to be made whether to treat someone, or not. I do not want that to happen,” Dr Prasit said.

To keep the number of COVID-19 patients within the country’s capacity to treat them, the increase in national cases must be limited at 20% daily.

Thai Residential

“To achieve this, people must stay at home, do not socialise... If you must go out to buy food, you must wear a mask, go the shortest distance and return home as fast as possible,” Dr Prasit said.

“Talking normally to another person produces droplets that travel about one metre. So people must stay at least two metres apart. When you are talking to people, you must wear a mask. Wash your masks daily,” he said.

“A communicable disease cannot be transmitted if people do not make contact. Home is the safest place, unless there is an infected person.”

Following this practice would limit the case increase rate to within 20% a day, or at 32.7 new cases a day. “It is difficult, but still possible. It must start today, or it would be too late,” Dr Prasit said.

With social distancing, the number of new cases would start to fall in four weeks, he said.

He also called for a complete ban on visitors, saying thermal scans did not work because many infected people did not have a fever during their initial period of infection.

“When they have a fever, the disease has already damaged their lungs and they will need lung support devices,” Dr Prasit said.

The countries that were able to control COVID-19 were Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, he said.

Dr Prasit estimated the COVID-19 outbreak would continue in Thailand for about nine months.

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DeKaaskopp | 24 March 2020 - 10:08:33

@K.  "Follow the money trail"   And you think Thailand is the only country using them at their airports ? Trying to bring something up again ? Get a grip Kurt.

Kurt | 24 March 2020 - 09:51:21

So, the use of thermal scanners can be stopped.  Less useless drama. Who did initiate this actually and ordered production of these thermal scanners? Follow the money trail.

Kurt | 24 March 2020 - 09:17:50

History later will proof if Prof Dr Prasit would have been Minister of Health faith of Thailand would have been different.  Now absence of sufficient health authority actions is going literarily killing around. There will be simply not enough medical equipment for all patients to come.

Christy Sweet | 23 March 2020 - 22:17:55

Please put Dr. Wantanama in charge, and  show this to Phuket Immigration immediately.  Phuket Immigration MUST CLOSE. Do not go anywhere near that place.   

 

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