CCSA warns Thailand could see as many as 18,000 new COVID-19 cases per day
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today reported 155 new cases as it warned that, if the infections are not effectively contained by the middle of January with full cooperation from the public, the country may see an explosion of about 18,000 new cases each day.
CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin warned today that the next seven days will be crucial, and will determine whether more stringent lockdown restrictions need to be imposed.
He urged members of the public and entrepreneurs not to lower their guard and to cooperate fully, by observing basic health guidelines, so the country can get through this challenging period.
“We must admit that this New Year is not the same. The infection rate, which is now showing a three-digit daily increase, must be brought down. Although there is no full lockdown yet, we must adjust in line with disease control measures,” said the spokesman.
He said that infections spread from 37 to 45 provinces just between December 24th and 26th.
The CCSA has presented three scenarios, developed by the epidemiological working committee of the Disease Control Department. In the first, if nothing is done to stop the contagion from spreading, the infection rate will rise to 1,000 to 2,000 cases a day and up to 18,000 cases per day by January 14th, said Dr. Taweesin.
In the second scenario, if some moderate actions are taken now, he said there may be 4,000 new cases a day by the middle of next month
In the third scenario, if stringent measures are enforced and the public fully cooperates with health officials, by wearing face masks all the time while outdoors and regularly wash their hands, the infection rate may be fewer than 1,000 cases a day by the middle of next month.
Dr. Taweesin said he is worried that Thailand is now in the “orange zone” and the graph is rising at 45 degrees, which means there may be several thousand new infections each day.
He also said that the working group divided infections into two patterns, from person to person and cluster infections, such as the gambling cluster in Rayong province and public gatherings like parties and meetings.
All provincial governors have been instructed to divide their respective provinces into maximum controlled zones, controlled zones and surveillance zones, according to the number of COVID-19 infections.
According to the CCSA, 134 of the 155 new cases reported today are locally acquired involving Thais, 11 foreign migrant workers and 10 arrivals from abroad in state quarantine.
Cumulative infections are 6,440, with 4,180 recoveries and one more death, bringing the toll to 61.