Hospitals throughout Thailand have been told to prepare for a surge in cases due to close contact and extensive travel over the new year period, a senior doctor told Thai Enquirer on Wednesday.
New Year clusters have already been reported by the Ministry of Public Health with popular entertainment areas responsible. These include areas in the capital like Khaosan Road and in provinces like Chonburi and Phuket.
But according to a senior doctor, the government is warning that clusters will likely be found in all provinces due to the new year’s celebrations.
“The ministry in Bangkok have told us to be vigilant for possible clusters and prepare the hospitals for large intakes,” Monthip Boriboonsong, a doctor at Khon Kaen Hospital, told Thai Enquirer by phone.
“They cited travel over the new year period and family gatherings as reasons for the reasons.”
According to Monthip, hospitals throughout Isan and across the North have all been briefed by the ministry and have prepared accordingly.
“We are ready but I do not think there is a reason to panic. That should be the key message to the public,” Monthip said.
Other healthcare professionals agree with Monthip that it is too soon to cause public alarm. A senior doctor at Siriraj Hospital told Thai Enquirer that the high rate of vaccination and the booster drive by the government means that even if infections spike up, the health sector was better equipped to deal with a fourth wave than they were for previous waves.
“Look, no one wants to see higher numbers especially when the number of infections was on the decline. But if you ask any doctor in Thailand, they will tell you that we are more prepared to fight this virus now than ever,” he said.