Some restrictions should be eased next month if they prove effective in slowing infections according to the Thai Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also urged all Thais to strictly follow the universal prevention guidelines against Covid-19, as effective restrictions will help reduce new cases and deaths from Covid-19 more quickly.
On his Facebook page, Gen. Prayut said that despite an explosion in the number of new cases per day (more than 20,000 per day), there are positive signs that infection rates are slowing down since the restriction measures were put in place in mid-July.
On several days, the number of patients who recovered also exceeded new infections.
Most concerning, however, is the number of deaths, although it remains below the global death rate.
The Prime Minister wrote:
“We do not want a single person to die”.
“The Ministry of Public Health has concluded that if the government increases the effectiveness of restraint measures, we will be able to further reduce the number of infections and deaths,” he wrote.
In light of this evidence, the Covid-19 Situation Administration Center (CASC) has decided to extend the restrictions until the end of this month, the Prime Minister said.
“If the restrictions are enforced more effectively, we may be able to survive the peak of the infection curve expected at the end of this month, and infections should slow down next month.”
“We can then ease restrictions on certain activities and businesses.”
However, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for everyone involved to work together to help reduce the number of new cases and deaths.
The Delta variant continues to evolve in the country
Since the current wave is due to the fast-spreading Delta variant, many people are believed to be still asymptomatic and have not yet been tested, said Gen. Prayut, adding that even those already vaccinated can still contract the virus.
As a result, the CCSA medical team agreed that people should step up their precautions by following “universal prevention” guidelines against Covid-19 for the entire population, whether they are in at-risk groups or already vaccinated, he said.
For example, people should only leave their homes when necessary, maintain a physical distance of at least one meter from others and wear a mask when they go out, he said.
The guidelines also call for regular hand washing with soap or hand sanitizers, avoiding touching masks, eyes, mouth and nose with hands unless necessary, and disinfecting surfaces, personal belongings and the environment.
People with underlying medical conditions and those 60 years of age and older should avoid leaving their homes unless necessary.
Anyone at risk or in contact with infected people should use antigen testing kits, the Prime Minister wrote.
“We must always keep in mind that anyone we encounter may be an infected person.”
“Medical studies have also confirmed that Covid-19 can be spread through the air between people in close contact with each other.”
“I encourage all of you to adopt and strictly follow the universal prevention guidelines, especially when the risk is still high.”
Meanwhile, Government House said Australia will donate A$2.8 million (67.6 million baht) to support Thailand’s health policies on Covid-19.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on the phone Wednesday.
20,902 new Covid-19 cases and 301 deaths
The Ministry of Public Health announced Thursday morning that 301 new Covid-19 deaths and 20,902 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.
There were 20,754 cases in the general population and 148 among prison inmates.
In the past 24 hours, 22,208 Covid-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 989,859 cases of Covid-19, of which 775,327 have recovered.
The number of deaths is 8,586 since the start of the pandemic.
The new deaths ranged in age from 26 to 105 years, and 287 were Thai, 11 Burmese, one Cambodian, one Chinese and one American.