16 July 2024

Chulabhorn Royal Academy Secretary-General, Professor Dr. Nithi Mahanonda, has proposed a reprioritisation of Thailand’s strategies to cope with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is rapidly spreading “far and wide” to the point that “we do not know who are infected among the people around us.”

In his Facebook post, he said that the top priority now is not to protect those who are not infected or to prevent the infected from spreading the disease, as it was when infections were not widespread, but is now about the management of hospital beds, intensive care units in particular, and of human resources to take care of patients.

He proposed the scaling down of pro-active case finding, so there will be sufficient resources to focus on people who think they may be infected, or develop mild symptoms, so they will get tested.

Those who have no symptoms and who can help themselves need not be admitted to hospitals, but should isolate at home, in order not to waste hospital beds which should be reserved for those who need them the most.

While ensuring sufficient beds in hospitals, he suggested a publicity campaign should be launched to educate the people about how to protect themselves and their families from the disease and about when to go to hospital, adding that it does not matter if the message is repetitive “as Thai people are willing to listen.”

Professor Nithi said he recommends the rapid administering of medication non severe cases, instead of allowing the virus to attack their lungs, and then give them the anti-viral medication.

He said those found infected should be treated immediately with prophylactic medications, as was the case with influenza, without having to wait for research papers about this method of treatment.

Doctors must adapt to the situation, said Professor Nithi, as he suggested they should forget that they are specialists in certain medical fields and make themselves available to take care of COVID-19 patients.

“In time of war, soldiers, whether they are infantrymen, sailors or cavalrymen, police or volunteers, must all grab a weapon to fight the enemy, or COVID-19 under the present circumstances,” he said.

About vaccines, the CRA secretary-general suggested that the people get inoculated quickly, no matter the vaccine makes, and not being too selective.

He asked the public not to worry too much about the importance of immune produced by each make of vaccine, noting that there are several more factors contributing to infection by the virus, the onset of symptoms and the protection from infection.