6 June 2024
Close up of fingers holding express antigen covid test, negative result

Members of the public are advised not to lower their guard against COVID-19, as the virus has been staging a comeback since April, infecting as many as 40,000 people a day now, about 20 times more than the rate at the start of April. The death toll has also risen by a factor of 20, to 66 per week, in the same period.

According to Dr. Nitiphat Jiarakul, chief of the Division of Respiratory Diseases and Tuberculosis at the Faculty of Medicine of Mahidol University, daily admissions to hospitals have increased to about 400 from about 20 in April and, of these, 5% are suffering with lung infections and half of thosepatients died.

He also said that half of those deaths were directly linked to their COVID-19 infection and the other half to a resurgence of a comorbidity, such as kidney, emphysema and heart diseases.

He attributed the sharp rise in COVID-19 infections to increased outdoor activities, such as political campaign rallies and other crowded events and the fact that many people have become complacent and are no longer wearing face masks in public.

Another factor which may be contributing to the resurgence of the virus is the steady decline in vaccine-induced immunity inmany people, said Dr. Nitiphat.

He said that his advice is offered because he does not want to see a repeat of the chaotic situation during the height of the pandemic over a year ago, when hospitals ran out of beds and some patients were left to die at home or on the streets.

Wearing face masks in places where there are a lot of people is still highly recommended, he said, adding that people should regularly sanitise their hands with alcohol based gels or liquids.