11 July 2024

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is rolling out four measures to cope with the new wave of COVID-19 infections, especially the Omicron variant, with an emphasis on slowing down the spread of the disease through mass vaccinations, the mass use of antigen tests and maximum self-protection by individuals and businesses, according to Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit.

The first covers mass vaccinations, slowing down the spread of the virus, self-screening through using rapid antigen tests and close monitoring of virus mutations by health officials.

The second is social measure to encourage people to exercise maximum caution to protect themselves from getting infected and to ensure safe public venues.

The medical service measure covers the setting up of a hotline communication system to coordinate health care for the infected, preparations of medications and equipment and the setting up of home and community isolation facilities to accommodate those with mild and no symptoms.

The final measure concerns medical service and screening fees.

Dr. Kiattibhoom explained that the mass self-use of test kits will be the first line of defence, to screen people before they are to be admitted for treatment at general hospitals or home and community isolation facilities.

After fighting COVID-19 for two years, he said that the main focus of this year is to slow down the infection rate, in order not to overburden the health care system.

He urged all sectors of society to cooperate fully by strictly complying with all the safety and preventive measures.  For factories, he suggested that their owners reactivate the “Bubble and Seal” approach, noting that they may be the next to be hit with cluster infections after pub-restaurants, which are being blamed for most of the current infections.