A second wave can be quelled, say health bigwigs

A second wave can be quelled, say health bigwigs

Suwannachai: Only 'sparks' likely
Suwannachai: Only 'sparks' likely

Thailand will be able to handle and curb a second wave of Covid-19 as lessons have been learned from the first outbreak, say senior public health officials.

Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said on Thursday that a second wave of infections would be different from the first one because agencies involved and the public have learned from it.

"Right now, we do not allow people from abroad to enter the country without proper management," he said.

"People regularly wear face masks, wash their hands, and maintain physical distancing, which is different from the first wave. The government, the private sector and the public are experienced and well prepared for a second wave outbreak.

"Considering these factors, if local transmission re-emerges, it is likely there will only pockets of infections. It is like sparks of a fire that we can put out.

"We assure you that we can handle it. We confirm that we can live our social and economic lives in line with the new normal," Dr Suwannachai said.

He also said that even though the easing of the lockdown is entering the 6th phase, which will allow selected groups of foreign visitors and migrant workers to enter or re-enter the country, Covid-19 continues unabated in many countries elsewhere in the world.

Dr Suwannachai said that it is important for business operators, particularly in the industry, service and business sectors, to take additional health precautions to prevent infections at their workplaces.

Safety officers at large business organisations must consistently assess infection risk and other health hazards. Their employees are encouraged to make a habit of wearing a face masks, washing their hands and maintaining physical distancing, Dr Suwannachai said.

He said businesses will be closed if infections recur.

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