A Grim Warning as Infections Surge in Thailand

7 Jul 2022

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A senior public health official warned on Sunday that if no disease control measures are placed in place during the current spike, which is thought to be more severe than the previous two rounds, more than 28,000 people could be infected by Covid-19 per day over the next month.

On Sunday, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported 967 new Covid-19 cases, the most ever diagnosed in 24 hours in the kingdom.

Sopon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said the department's epidemiology division come up with a mathematical model in collaboration with the International Health Policy Program to predict the number of people who could become infected per day if measures were not followed. In the worst-case scenario, he said, 28,678 people could be infected per day if no infectious control measures are in place.

However, in this scenario, the average number of daily cases would be 9,140, while the lowest number could be 1,308 if people do not follow safety measures, Dr. Sopon said.

Bangkok had recorded a total of 1,114 infections for the most recent phase of the outbreak as of Saturday. Dr. Sopon said that 823 of them were linked to nightclubs in the capital and the rest were detected during proactive mass testing in communities.

Infections have been linked to 140 pubs in 15 provinces, according to CCSA data. The Krystal Club in Thong Lor, where 211 infections had been detected since the beginning of this month, topped the list with 85 nightspots. Chon Buri had 11, Prachuap Khiri Khan had nine, Pathum Thani had seven, and Chiang Mai had six.

Most of the kingdom's latest transmissions, Dr. Sopon said, were linked to pub clusters, which have now spread to 70 provinces.

He said entertainment venues in 41 provinces have been ordered to close for two weeks, and nightspots in the other 36 provinces could be ordered to close as well if the pandemic hits.

Dr. Sopon said that bar owners in the 36 provinces must follow disease control protocols, including wearing a mask and strict screenings.

"The situation is still worrying because the disease has spread to several provinces," he said, "but it is still manageable if all parties involved join hands,"

Meanwhile, health officials in Chiang Mai reported hundreds of new Covid-19 infections, causing them to postpone some of the Songkran festival's planned festivities.

281 new cases had been detected, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of this month to 662.

The new caseload in Chiang Mai is the highest since the outbreak began seven days ago in the province, which is a major tourist destination for Thai and international visitors, particularly over Songkran.

People who travel from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Pathom must register using the CM Chana app and conform to a 14-day self-quarantine. All entertainment venues were also closed until April 23

Some of the events are scheduled for Songkran festivities and scaled-down others. The alms-offering ceremony planned for tomorrow at Tha Phae Gate was among the events scrapped. "We have to boost residents' confidence and try to curb the spread of the virus," said Rattaphol Naradisorn, deputy provincial governor.

People who have recently visited ten places connected to the latest outbreak have been asked to get tested for Covid-19 by health authorities.

Warm-Up Cafe Chiang Mai, DC Chiang Mai, Ground Consol's Garden, Phor Jai bar, Valentine's karaoke, Tha Chang cafe, Infinity Club, Living Machine, Tawan Daeng, and Too Nice Nimman.