Daily Covid cases could pass 5 digits, govt warns

Daily Covid cases could pass 5 digits, govt warns

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, on Monday warns that without serious disease control, daily new Covid-19 cases in the country could be 4-5 digits by mid-January. (Screenshot from the Covid-19 Information Centre)
Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, on Monday warns that without serious disease control, daily new Covid-19 cases in the country could be 4-5 digits by mid-January. (Screenshot from the Covid-19 Information Centre)

Provinces with a high number of Covid-19 cases must maximise disease control measures, or new local cases could rise to thousands or even tens of thousands per day by mid-January, according to a government official.

"If nothing is done, daily new cases could soar to four or five digits this month or by the middle of next month," Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Monday after reviewing Public Health Ministry data. "But if we cooperate with one another, the curve will be 45 degrees and new daily new cases will be at three digits. 

"The best solution is to refrain from socialising, and then the graph will run flat," Dr Taweesilp said.

Gen Nathapol Nakpanit, secretary-general of the National Security Council and the chair of the CCSA meeting on Monday, wanted authorities in all provinces named as "maximum control zones" and "control zones" to implement all their Covid-19 prevention measures in order to keep the daily increment of cases at three digits, the spokesman said.

The "maximum control zone" tag refers to provinces that already have a considerable number of Covid-19 cases. The "control zone" covers provinces with more than 10 cases and rising.

The implementation of control measures in the provinces depends on cooperation from government officials, business operators and local people, Dr Taweesilp said.

"We will be monitoring how you are best able to contribute before considering escalating to measures [that would be] deemed as strong medicine."

The CCSA on Monday reported 144 new Covid-19 cases, including 115 locally-transmitted infections and 14 migrant workers, over the past 24 hours.

The breakdown of local infections by province was 56 in Rayong, 19 in Bangkok, 18 in Nakhon Pathom, six in Chon Buri, five in Samut Prakan, three in Nonthaburi, two each in Nakhon Nayok and Pathum Thani, and one each in Sukhothai, Samut Sakhon, Lop Buri and Chiang Mai.

In "maximum control zones", infected and at-risk people, businesses and activities must be quickly identified. Infected people are admitted to field hospitals and at-risk people are quarantined.

At-risk premises are closed or have their operating hours limited. Transport of migrant workers out of the area is banned, while transportation for everyone is restricted. Working from home is encouraged.

Education moves online. All activities involving crowds of people are banned. Maximum Covid-19 prevention measures are imposed at workplaces, factories and workers' dormitories.

In "control zones", infected and at-risk people, as well as at-risk businesses and activities, are quickly identified and crowded gatherings are prohibited.

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