12 July 2024

The Department of Disease Control has refuted a suggestion that it has been distorting the number of daily COVID-19 cases, identified using rapid antigen tests, to give an impression that there are fewer infections in the country.

Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawonganon, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology of the Department of Disease Control, said that the infection numbers reported by the department come from the central “dashboard”, which compiles the figures obtained from all hospitals and health offices nationwide.

He admitted that the figures for positive lateral flow antigen tests, known locally as “ATKs” may be up one day and down the next and that reports from home or community isolation facilities may not have been submitted every day.

He insisted, however, that the department has not tampered with the figures, as has been alleged.

Dr. Chakkarat also expressed concern that infections, particularly among those over 60 or with underlying diseases or both, may surge during and after the long Songkran long holiday.

The anticipated surge means that there will be more cases of lung inflammation, which will require ventilators for treatment.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Information Centre reported 28,029 new infections today (Saturday), diagnosed through RT-PCR tests, and 96 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Cumulative infections so far this year are 1,461,320. The death toll during the same period is 3,620.