Rising covid numbers are still “manageable” but government must continue healthcare coverage

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The rising number of Covid infections in Thailand is still “manageable” but the government must continue to provide support to affected areas, a public health expert told Thai Enquirer on Monday.

Covid infection numbers have climbed to around 15,000 cases per day fueled by the spread of the now dominant and highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The Ministry of Public Health said that it expects those numbers to keep rising and predicted that the number of new cases could reach over 20,000 per day by the end of the month.

However, one public health expert said that even if the country reaches 20,000 cases per day those numbers would still be manageable for the government provided they stay vigilant.

“There are several factors that make the situation manageable. The first is that Omicron is not as deadly as previous strains of the virus and the second is the new rules regarding home isolation,” said Kanyarat Wang-anant, a public health expert with Chiang Mai Rajaphat University.

“Remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone infected had to report to a hospital or a field hospital which severely clogged up our public health infrastructure,” Kanyarat told Thai Enquirer by phone.

“But with the new home quarantine rules, it means that the majority of people who test positive and are asymptomatic can stay at home until they get better. With Omicron that is the vast majority of people.”

Kanyarat warned, however, that the government continue to provide support to those affected and needing care.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul previously said that the government plans to take Covid-19 off the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients except for the most severe cases.

“This is a incredibly selfish idea motivated purely by economic considerations. Care must be provided to all because even if it is milder, Omicron is still a threat,” Kanyarat said.

“The government’s job is to take care of the people and delisting Covid from the emergency scheme will only hurt the most vulnerable.”


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