Health system prepares for rising Covid cases

Health system prepares for rising Covid cases

No increase in alert level necessary

Commuters choose to wear face masks against Covid-19 infection aboard a packed train at  Bang Sue train station on Monday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Commuters choose to wear face masks against Covid-19 infection aboard a packed train at Bang Sue train station on Monday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Health and administrative officials nationwide have been told to prepare for rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.

The director-general of the Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong, said at Government House on Tuesday that the permanent secretaries for health and interior had already ordered officials nationwide to be ready for a possible increase in coronavirus cases.

"It is a normal preparatory measure. It is better to be prepared. Everyone should be prepared," he said.

Dr Opas was responding to reporters' questions after the Rural Doctor Society's posted on Facebook on Monday night that the permanent secretary for public health issued an urgent letter last Thursday ordering regional health chiefs to prepare facilities and medical supplies to treat more Covid patients.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said it was normal that Covid-19 cases would increase with the country's reopening.

This resulted from the spread of the Omicron variant, which had started long ago. The variant was highly transmissible but did not cause severe illness, he said.

"The number of seriously ill patients and deaths are under control because most people have been vaccinated," said Mr Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister.

Officials were ordered to prepare medical supplies and facilities. People who had three doses of vaccine would not have severe symptoms, he said.

Special precautions were advised for unvaccinated people and those with underlying illnesses, Mr Anutin said.

Health permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit said small waves of Covid-19 infection were possible because of the reopening of the country. He ruled out the possbility of a major outbreak, and confirmed that the country was entering a post-pandemic period.

"Small waves are likely, so the health system is made ready ... Personal protection can reduce infections and stop such small waves," he said.

It was not necessary to increase the Covid-19 alert level, Dr Kiattiphum said.

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