/* */

Thailand advised to keep their guard up even though measures relaxed

11 Aug 2020

As the global pandemic continues, Thailand is likely to report new cases of local Covid-19 transmission, but the likelihood of a large-scale outbreak in Thailand may be reduced if the public keeps their guard, the Ministry of Public Health said on Monday.

The warning was relayed by the head of the Department of Disease Control chief Tanarak Plipat at the Ministry 's daily press briefing about the country's Covid-19 infections.

Dr Tanarak noted on Monday that people are beginning to lower their guard against the virus since Thailand hasn't reported any local transmission in more than 70 days.

He continued to use the example of Vietnam, widely acclaimed as a pandemic success story until suddenly the number of locally transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus disease spiked. "We kept a close watch on the situation in Vietnam after reported local infections again.

Until now, the origin of the outbreak has yet to be confirmed," Dr Tanarak said.

"Thailand is likely to be in the same boat as Vietnam. Locally transmitted cases are to be found, but there may not be an [large-scale] outbreak if all stakeholders come together to help prevent a second wave."

Dr. Tanarak said that if public health officials are quick to conduct comprehensive contact tracking and enforce strict quarantine regulations a large-scale outbreak may be prevented or brought under control.

Most importantly, he said if a locally transmitted case is discovered people should not be panicking.

"When the first wave happened back in March, individuals should ramp up preventive measures and do what they did," Dr Tanarak said.

"Self-prevention is the most effective way to control the disease, and even if we have a vaccine, we must not lower our guard. Vaccines are the way to prevent the disease, but there will still be the virus," he added.

There are currently seven vaccines currently under human testing in the third phase — one of which may be ready within the next six months, he said.

Source Bangkok Post