Thailand now ready for cautious easing of lockdown restrictions – Dr. Prasit
The COVID-19 situation in Thailand is now entering the phase where lockdown restrictions can be eased, but social distancing and the wearing of face masks are still essential, said Professor Dr. Prasit Wattanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicines at Siriraj Hospital and a member of the CCSA’s medical advisory panel.
He cautioned, however, that the relaxation must be done step by step, to allow people to increase outdoor activities gradually, while ensuring that there is no second wave of infections. This means that, after outdoor activity, people must return home, wash their hands with soap thoroughly and stay home.
Adaption, understanding of the situation and self-discipline are key elements that will determine the rate of new infections, said Dr. Prasit, as he advised high-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with respiratory problems, to remain at home.
He mentioned that the latest analysis, conducted on April 14th, shows that one infected person can transmit the disease to 0.7 instead of 2.2 people, and he expects the infection rate to slow further.
He said that the CCSA will have to assess the situation every 14 days, after the relaxation of restrictions, to determine whether they should continue or whether restrictions need to be reinstated, adding that fully reopening the country at this stage would be premature.
Regarding the search for a viable vaccine against COVID-19, Dr. Prasit said that it will take at least a year for one to become available, even though some countries have already started trials.