Omicron numbers Could reach 30,000 per day if people are not vigilant

The number of daily Covid cases could reach 30,000 per day by mid-March if the majority of people and businesses fail to strictly follow prevention measures, the Ministry of Public Health warned on Monday.

Thailand discovered more than 500 Omicron cases so far and the ministry does not want to suggest another lockdown.

“We are now at a new crossroad because of the outbreak of Omicron and the new variant has a high transmission rate,” said Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the ministry’s permanent secretary.

“If we do nothing, the outbreak will be hard to control and it could take up to three to four months to control it and the daily number of cases could reach 30,000 cases,” he said.

For the scenario where cases rapidly increase after the New Year season but people continue to get vaccinated, follow universal prevention measures, get tested regularly if they were at risk and businesses continue to adhere to the Covid-Free Setting regulations then cases could reach 17,000 cases by the end of January and decrease to around 16,000 by the end of March.

For the best-case scenario where there is no rapid increase of cases after the New Year season with no major clusters and people and businesses continue to strictly follow prevention measures then cases could reach 14,000 cases by February and decrease to around 10,000 by the end of March.

“If we prevent it well, cases could be around 10,000 and the outbreak would take around two months to control,” Kiattiphum said.

“What the ministry wanted to see is obviously the best-case scenario so we all have to work together once more and we do not want to lock down the country,” he said.

In terms of the hospital bed situation, only 13.7 per cent of the total 178,139 hospital beds around the country are occupied at the moment.

There are now 514 Omicron cases in Thailand since the first case was discovered in late November. Of the 698 samples that were taken from around the country between December 24 and 26, 44.3 per cent were Omicron and 55.4 per cent were Delta.

In a study with 100 Omicron samples that were discovered in Thailand, 48 were asymptomatic.

Of the 41 cases that have symptoms, 34 patients have experienced mild symptoms including coughing (54 per cent), sore throat (37 per cent), fever (29 per cent), muscle ache (15 per cent), runny nose (12 per cent), headache (10 per cent), difficulty breathing (5 per cent) and less sense of smell (2 per cent).

Seven patients, who were all vaccinated with two doses of Covid vaccines, have a lung infection but none of them require a ventilator and no one died from Omicron in Thailand so far.

Out of 20 patients that were given Favipiravir, 10 of them have improved medical conditions within 24-72 hours after receiving the anti-viral drug.

The government is now urging everyone who is planning to travel during the New Year or join a party, even with family members only, to conduct ATK tests before and after the traveling or the gathering.

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