Thailand must learn to live with the Covid-19 virus and stop publicizing daily pandemic numbers by the end of April to boost public confidence and allow the country to get back to normal, a senior public health expert told Thai Enquirer on Monday.
Thailand recorded 6,929 cases on Monday but just 13 fatalities. On Sunday, the number of deaths, 9, was the lowest recorded in over a year. However, one of those fatalities was from the new Omicron variant of the disease.
“I think there is an understanding among health officials that the new Omicron variant is less deadly and could mean the end of the pandemic for us,” said Kanyarat Wanna-anant, a public health expert with Chiang Mai Rajaphat University.
“You have to factor this in with our vaccine numbers which are increasing everyday including the use of boosters to know that the end of the pandemic is in sight.”
According to Kanyarat, the economic effects of the pandemic have been much more devastating than the virus itself and the country must do all it can to boost consumer and public confidence.
“The only number that matters is the death toll and it has gone done by a massive amount since last September and will continue to stay low. If it hovers around the single digits then Thailand will see more road deaths per day than Covid-19 deaths,” she said.
“That means we have to reevaluate our priorities, continue to be vigilant, keep acquiring the latest technology to fight the virus but also not induce undue panic in the population.”
Kanyarat says if the government were to set a target to stop publicizing numbers by April, then it would signal to the country that there is an end date to the public health crisis and that it was not a “forever war.”
“Barring another variant that is more deadly, we will see the world emerge out of this shadow by the middle of this year.”