11 July 2024

COVID-19 will remain Thailand’s most significant health threat this year and the number of infections may reach 650,000, with a predicted death toll of over 800, by the end of the year, according to Dr. Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, director-general of the Disease Control Department.

Last year, 652,868 people were infected with COVID-19 and 848 people died from the disease.

Due to the constant mutation of the virus, he advised people at high risk, such as the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics, those with high blood pressure, the obese, people with chronic kidney problems or cancer, to get vaccinated at least once a year, to wear face masks in crowded places and to wash their hands frequently.

Dr. Thongchai warned that, in addition to COVID-19, influenza and dengue fever also remain serious health threatsthis year.

Flu is a serious infectious disease which can be fatal, he said, as he advised the public to get vaccinated once a year.

Last year, 460,325 people were infected with flu, of whom 29 died. It is estimated that about 340,000 people will be infected this year.

159,097 people suffered from dengue fever last year and 187 died. As many as 270,000 cases are predicted for this year and the death toll may soar to 280.

Dr. Thongchai went on to say that the department is also keeping a close watch on 12 other diseases, such as foot and mouth, measles, Zika virus, tuberculosis and various STDs.