Thailand’s central government and public health agencies all over the country have to contain the latest Covid-19 by the end of the month if it wants to avoid further restrictions and a possible shutdown, a senior health advisor to the government told Thai Enquirer on Thursday.
The country is currently experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 sparked by the virulent Omicron variant of the disease. Numbers are back up to over 20,000 cases a day with around 40 fatalities per day.
The government has increased the ’danger level’ to four and has given autonomy to provincial health offices to make the best decisions for their remit but numbers have continued to trend upwards.
”The total number is probably much higher than what is being recorded officially each day because Omicron infections can be asymptomatic for those who have been vaccinated,” said a senior health advisor to the government who spoke on condition of anonymity.
”That number is probably double what is officially recorded,” he told Thai Enquirer by phone.
The government said that cooperation with the public is needed to ensure that the numbers do not spike anymore than they do with Public Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul warning that relaxed standards and personal irresponsibility could see the average daily cases spike to 30,000 per day by the end of the month.
”K Anuthin is not wrong and we cannot let our guard down regardless of vaccination status. I understand many people are fatigued with Covid-19 restrictions and just want to live their lives but now is not the time to drop our guards,” the source said.
In particular, he said, Thailand must get the number of cases per day down before the upcoming Songkran holidays in April in order to avoid restrictions and lockdowns.
”The government is apprehensive about letting Songkran go full tilt given what happened last year so they want to contain this by the end of March,” the source said.
”That means increasing our booster drive throughout the entire Month and harder restrictions and contact tracing in cluster areas.”