7m Bangkok residents in line for jabs

7m Bangkok residents in line for jabs

Clean send-off: Monks in protective overalls spray disinfectant around the crematorium at Wat Bang Muang in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district, one of the temples equipped to cremate the bodies of those who died of Covid-19. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Clean send-off: Monks in protective overalls spray disinfectant around the crematorium at Wat Bang Muang in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district, one of the temples equipped to cremate the bodies of those who died of Covid-19. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government has set a goal of vaccinating residents at the highest risk of contracting Covid-19 in Bangkok communities in the next four months.

About 60,000 people will be given the shots each day until the target is met. Bangkok has around 7 million people.

Details of the mass vaccination drive across 50 districts will be discussed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration's (CCSA) sub-committee this week, assistant spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said on Wednesday.

The authorities were spurred into action by the discovery of a cluster of Covid-19 infections in the densely packed slums of Klong Toey district, which the government still is struggling to contain.

Dr Apisamai said Covid-19 control centres in Bangkok districts and surrounding provinces, directed by district chiefs, had been set up to respond speedily to emergency situations.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, meanwhile, has appointed a panel of medical experts to advise him on how to best tackle existing Covid-19 outbreaks and prevent new ones. He said the government's new goal was to vaccinate about 70% of the population, or about 50 million people, by the end of this year.

Among them are Clinical Professor Emeritus Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Clinical Professor Emeritus Udom Kachintorn, Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa and deans of faculties of medicine from eight universities, said Dr Apisamai.

In Klong Toey, a mass Covid-19 vaccination programme resumed yesterday for a second day in the car park of the Tescos Lotus Rama IV branch, when an estimated 2,500-3,000 people were given jabs. Vaccines supplied by China's Sinova Biotech and AstraZeneca were used in the inoculation programme, said a source.

There are about 98,000 registered residents in Klong Toey's 39 communities and the vaccination programme will cover all of them, said the source, adding that priority would be given to those considered to be at the highest risk of catching the virus.

A total of 2,562 people were yesterday tested for Covid-19 in Klong Toey and 154 of them, or 6%, were confirmed to have the virus, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. In Klong Toey market alone, 51 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.


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