11 July 2024

Beginning September 1st, all hotel-based COVID-19 isolation services will be phased out and private and state hospitals will get direct access to supplies of antiviral medication, as the country is transitioning into a post-pandemic period.

Prof. Dr. Udom Kachinthorn, chairman of the national reform committee on public health said today (Thursday) that both private and state hospitals can claim refunds from the government for the drugs prescribed to COVID -19 patients.

He said that, as COVID-19 is to be re-classified as an “infectious disease under watch”, instead of a “dangerous infectious disease” on October 1st, pharmacies should have access to antiviral drugs as well, pending an announcement to be issued by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA), adding that drug stores can dispense the medications to patients, but they need a doctor’s prescription to prevent misuse.

TFDA Secretary-General Paisarn Dunkum said that they are working on a drug dispensing system, to be applied to pharmacies, under which they can dispense the drugs on doctor’s prescription and they must keep a record of the drugs dispensed.

Dr. Tharet Karatnairawiwong, director-general of Health Service Support Department, assured the public that the phasing out of the hotel-based isolation facilities will not impact the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in Bangkok, as Thailand has already passed pandemic stage.

The number of hotel based isolation facilities has already dropped substantially in the past several months, due to the improving situation.

A ministerial regulation is expected to be issued shortly before September 1st.

Several thousand new COVID-19 infections, found using rapid antigen tests, are being reported nationwide each day, but most of them are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms which do not require hospitalisation.