Only one covid-related number Thais should concentrate on, senior doctor says

Thailand must stop focusing on new Covid-19 infection numbers in light of increasing vaccination rates and the spread of the milder Omicron variant, a senior doctor told Thai Enquirer on Monday.

The country discovered 7,926 new cases in the past 24 hours, in line with the recent surge in cases stemming from travel during the new year period and the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

It is nearly a three hundred per cent increase in the number of average cases from December when the country was finding some 2,000 cases per day.

But according to one senior doctor at Siriraj Hospital, those numbers are misleading and the public should not place much importance on total number of new infections.

“Our vaccination rate and our booster rate is still climbing while Omicron has proven to be less severe than earlier variants, that means we should focus on the death rate and clusters,” said the doctor who asked for anonymity citing his involvement in government policy.

“The death toll in the last 24 hours is only 13 fatalities. That is still tragic for the individual families but in terms of public policy, a very successful implementation of restrictions and vaccinations.”

The doctor added that a low death rate means public health policy should be focused on economic recovery and getting the country back to normal rather than panicking over increased numbers.

“The other focus must be on clusters, instead of focusing on total numbers, restrictions should be tailor-made to specific clusters and restrictions in localities,” he said.

“Think back to December and the specific restrictions we introduced to Samut Sakhon. That is the model we should go back to now instead of trying to restrict the country as a whole and dooming it economically.”

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