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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Covid could turn into an endemic disease in Thailand in early July, Thailand Ministry of Health says

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The Thai Ministry of Health believes the Covid-19 situation will improve enough in early July to be considered an endemic disease, the government spokesman said.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the ministry had written in its latest report to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that the pandemic situation continues to improve, so its status should be changed to endemic by mid-year.

The spokesman also quoted Prime Minister Prayut as saying that the pandemic situation in Thailand had stabilized thanks to the government’s roll-out of vaccines and good public health care.

He said the prime minister also thanked the public for trusting his government, adding that while the number of new cases is still high, it is beginning to decline.

Earlier, Dr. Sumanee Watcharasin, the assistant spokesperson for the Administrative Center for Covid19 Control, the CCSA, said Spain, India and China, along with the state of California in the US, are preparing to treat the Covid19 virus as an endemic disease.

Once people are declared endemic, they can start living their lives back to normal, she said.

Before it was announced as an endemic disease, the Ministry of Health, together with universities and other government agencies, studied eight areas that were Covid hot spots and 44 other areas where there were fewer infections. The aim of the study was to see if the country is ready to deal with the disease that has been declared endemic.

Sumanee said the study concluded:
• Thailand has successfully coped with the pandemic thanks to good leadership, good management, good staff, a good supply of medicines and medical facilities, a good supply of vaccines, good surgery and good participation of all sectors.
• Several countries, including Thailand, think the pandemic is over because new variants are less dangerous. Also, the infection rate in Thailand is slowing and should improve enough to get to the endemic stage in July.
• Thailand’s medical services, disease control measures, medical personnel, medicines and hospital beds are ready for patients with severe symptoms. Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms are now treated as outpatients who can recover at home.
• In addition to providing sufficient medicines and vaccines, the government also supports the local production of medicines and vaccines for future pandemics.
• The government should accelerate social media PR campaigns to reach all groups so that they can learn to protect themselves once Covid-19 is called an endemic disease.

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