Covid committee to consider endemic status

Covid committee to consider endemic status

Health experts recommend downgrading of disease from Oct 1

Cosplayers wear face masks while posing for pictures in a cosplay event at a shopping mall in Bangkok in July. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Cosplayers wear face masks while posing for pictures in a cosplay event at a shopping mall in Bangkok in July. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday will consider the new status of Covid-19 as an endemic and communicable disease under surveillance.

The National Communicable Disease Committee has resolved that Covid be downgraded from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance on Oct 1, according to Gen Supoj Malaniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council and operations director of the CCSA.

The Ministry of Public Health will present the resolution to the CCSA on Friday for comments or recommendations. The CCSA could discuss the issue of endemic status further and it might set a timeframe for the new declaration, he said.

The CCSA on Friday will also consider the distribution of Covid-19 medicine through qualified drug stores in addition to hospitals and clinics, Gen Supoj added.

As well, he insisted that the government still needed to maintain the state of emergency to facilitate Covid-19 control, including certain restrictions on international traffic and the prohibition of some activities to contain the disease.

Critics have said that existing laws and regulations are sufficient to deal with the disease and that a state of emergency is not needed.

Most of the charges laid under the emergency decree relate to political demonstrations, specifically gatherings by people opposed to the government. However, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has noted that as those cases move through the system, most charges are being dropped or those accused of violations acquitted.

“Even though the court and the public prosecutor have dismissed most of the charges, activists continued to be burdened by the lengthy proceedings which can last years. The judicial process itself also requires a lot of budget and personnel for this kind of case. The situation creates problems in Thai jurisprudence,” the organisation said.


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