Govt mulls coronavirus status cards

Govt mulls coronavirus status cards

A worker cleans an elevator at the CentralWorld shopping centre on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
A worker cleans an elevator at the CentralWorld shopping centre on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The Public Health Ministry is mulling over the possibility of issuing coloured cards to signify the status of people who have been vaccinated and those recovered from Covid-19 as people re-engage in social activities.

The cards -- green for fully vaccinated and yellow for people who have recovered from the virus within one to three months -- are currently being studied, said Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the public health permanent secretary.

He said the cards will be especially useful for operators and staff in businesses where they must come into close contact with the general public.

The measure will complement Wednesday's progressive easing of lockdown measures, and other restrictions, across 29 provinces with the highest Covid-19 prevalence.

Restaurants are being allowed to serve customers at 50% capacity while shops are reopening their doors. The easing of restrictions has been prompted by a continued decline in daily infections.

The green cards, which may be digitally issued to people who have had two vaccine doses, draws on the vaccination history kept in the Mor Prom database.

The yellow cards identify their holders who have been cured of Covid-19, whose immunity against the virus has been naturally developed.

However, the cards may be valid for a short period of time pending a review of the holders' immunity levels.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DoDC), said the cards were in a conceptual phase and if the cards were to be implemented, they would be launched in October with a pilot programme starting later this month.

Also on Tuesday, the DoDC said restaurants and service businesses may resume operations on Wednesday without their staff required to have been immunised against Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus for the time being.

A grace period to allow staff time to get vaccinated has been given after complaints were made by businesses that most of their employees have not been given a jab yet.

Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the DoDC's director for emergency health hazards and diseases, said establishments must practice health protection measures, including the wearing of face masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing, in their premises.

"Covid-19 will not go away and many countries are finding safe ways to live with the virus," Dr Chawetsan said.

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