Ministry to revise Covid-19 fatalities
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Ministry to revise Covid-19 fatalities

Up to 30% died due to underlying causes

A health professional vaccinates a man against Covid-19 at Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok, on Wednesday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
A health professional vaccinates a man against Covid-19 at Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok, on Wednesday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Public Health Ministry will revise how it records Covid-19 fatalities after finding that up to 30% of people who died with the infection did so due to underlying causes.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the ministry will conduct revisions to more accurately determine the cause of fatalities in relation to Covid-19 infections.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, said that 10-30% of those who died while infected with Covid-19 were found to have serious underlying diseases such as cancer.

The country registered 74 more Covid-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, a record high in the latest wave but less than a quarter of the historical peak of 312, the Public Health Ministry said on Thursday morning.

The 22,984 new cases announced on Thursday marked the third consecutive day of rising new infections, up from the 22,073 reported on Wednesday, while deaths increased by five. Thursday's figures did not include 49,494 positive results from antigen tests over the past 24 hours. If they were included, daily infections would total 72,478.

Dr Jadet Thammathat-aree, secretary-general of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), said the 1330 hotline number and the office's Line account missed responding to over 3,500 calls and messages as the capacity of the contact service was overwhelmed. He said the NHSO attempted to deal with the high volume of calls by increasing the number of lines, officers and volunteers and joining forces with other government agencies' hotlines.

Dr Jadet pointed out that people mildly infected with Covid-19 can take care of themselves at home while adding that the Public Health Ministry is distributing medicine packages to such people.

He said the NHSO will also follow up on missed calls from patients to ask them about their symptoms. If they are only suffering mildly, the NHSO will give them Favipiravir. After taking the medicine, they are advised to rest for 10 days to recover. The NHSO and the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine have given out 40,000 green chiretta packs to 900 communities for alternative treatment.

He anticipated that it would take the NHSO five days to call back all patients in Bangkok and five neighbouring provinces.

The ministry has also designated hospitals in 14 of Bangkok's neighbouring provinces to receive patients from the capital, Dr Jadet said.

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