COVID-19 to be designated as infectious disease under watch, possibly in October
Thailand’s National Communicable Disease Committee decided to change the status of COVID-19 today (Monday), from a “dangerous infectious disease”, which came into effect on March 1st, 2020, to an “infectious disease under watch”, tentatively from October 1st, as Thailand cautiously transitions to a post-pandemic status.
Chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the committee also approved a policy guideline framework, encompassing several aspects of COVID-19 monitoring and containment efforts, such as controlling the spread of the disease by taking into account the number of patients hospitalised, bed occupancy by severe cases, access to vaccines and anti-viral drugs, adjustment of quarantine measures, publicity campaigns to educate people of the merits of vaccination and a legal review to correspond with the changing situation.
For post-pandemic management to remain in line with the changing situation, Anutin said that the committee will allow state hospitals to procure anti-viral drugs independently, instead of waiting for deliveries from the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, and to claim refunds later, like other infectious diseases, in order that the public will have improved access to medication.
The committee has acknowledged that more people are getting infected but, at the same time, are well informed about COVID-19 and the importance of self-protection against infection.
The committee has also approved hospital use of Long-Acting Antibody (LAAB) with patients.