Thailand Ministry of Health reports 16,994 new COVID-19 cases and an additional 124 deaths since yesterday. The ministry also announced an additional 25,910 patients recovered from the COVID-19 virus.
The Ministry of Public Health urges businesses and organizations to ask employees to work from home for the next seven days. This is to prevent a sharp rise in cases after the Songkran holidays. Director of the Department of Disease Control’s Epidemiology Division Chakrarat Pittawawonganon estimates a 20%-30% rise in cases if no measures are taken.
He advised businesses to allow 5-7 days to work from home as well as urge employees to take an ATK test. This will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. He added that a booster shot is recommended for those who belong to at-risk groups. These include the elderly and those with underlying health concerns. At this time, only 37% of this population have received a booster shot, 23% below the government’s target of 60%.
According to the secretary-general of the National Security Council and director of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Supot Malaniyom the agency will meet this week to evaluate the trends and decide what measures must be implemented.
The discussions will discuss a possible reopening of schools and a change in travel policies to attract more tourists. These are plans in place to declare the disease as endemic by July, as initially estimated by the agency.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed various health-related bodies and agencies to ramp up testing. He also urged them to ensure that enough beds are available for isolation as well as for those with critical conditions. The government foresees an uptick of cases after the holidays and the effectiveness of its handling will affect many decisions for the next few months.