Covid-19 threat to be downgraded
The National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) has decided to downgrade Covid-19 from a "dangerous communicable disease" to a "communicable disease under surveillance" from October as part of the country's plan to enter a normal endemic period.
The resolution was announced on Monday by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who chaired the NCDC meeting.
Covid-19 was declared a dangerous communicable disease in late Feb 2020 by the NCDC which allowed health authorities to respond more quickly in trying to contain outbreaks.
Mr Anutin said health authorities have now been able to bring Covid-19 under control despite it still spreading, adding that the disease's severity has also been mitigated.
"This is why the NCDC has decided to downgrade the Covid-19 disease to a low level of concern from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance which will come into effect on Oct 1," Mr Anutin said.
"We have never faced a shortage of drugs, while many more people have learnt how to better understand how to live with the disease," he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said by designating Covid-19 as a communicable disease under surveillance, health authorities will no longer have the power to force patients or suspected sufferers to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Dr Opas still urged the public to comply with universal health measures, such as being fully vaccinated, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.