Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Monday) that the ministry will closely monitor and assess the COVID-19 situation in the two weeks following the Songkran holiday to determine if existing measures must be adjusted.
He said it is normal for people to get infected during the long Songkran holiday, due to the extensive travel and increased risk of close contact with others, but he hopes most will be safe if they have been. fully inoculated and outbreak of infection expected. will not exceed the capacity of the health system.
Top health experts had predicted, before Songkran, that new infections after the holidays would reach between 50,000 and 100,000 cases per day (both in RT-PCR tests and rapid antigen tests). They also expressed concern about the elderly and those with underlying conditions, many of whom are unvaccinated or have not received boosters.
Anutin confirmed that there are enough stocks of antiviral drugs, especially Favipiravir, to meet the expected increase in demand, especially among high-risk people.
He insisted that people in home isolation do not need Favipiravir.
The Minister said that the measures, which will be proposed to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) by the Ministry of Public Health this Friday, will cover all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that will allow the economy and the people to move without increasing the risk of mass infections.
Further easing of travel restrictions for tourists will also be offered, he added.
As for the reclassification of COVID-19 as an endemic disease, Anutin said no specific timeline has been set, despite an initial plan to make the disease endemic by July, saying it will depend on the number of fully immunized people and the preparedness of the country to deal with the situation.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Information Center reported 124 new deaths and 16,994 new confirmed infections today (Monday), compared to 128 deaths and 17,775 infections yesterday.
The new infections include 16,918 locally acquired cases and 76 among arrivals abroad. 205,514 patients are still being treated, including 2,123 cases of lung inflammation.
The cumulative death toll this year is 5,308. The death toll since the virus was first identified in Thailand is 27,006.