Covid surges in capital, tourist areas

Covid surges in capital, tourist areas

Unvaxxed elderly urged to stay home

Covid-19 cases last week rose over 12% over the previous week, mostly in Greater Bangkok and tourist provinces in the East and the South, the Department of Disease Control said yesterday.

Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said the number of seriously ill patients in the year's 45th week increased slightly while the number of Covid-related deaths was stable.

"It had been expected there would be small waves after Covid-19 was redefined as a communicable disease under surveillance on Oct 1," Dr Tares said.

"The number of patients admitted to hospitals rose in Greater Bangkok and tourist provinces, especially in the East and the South where there are more Thai and foreign tourists as well as crowd activities," he said.

From Nov 6-12, most patients dependent on ventilators were either unvaccinated or had not had a booster shot, he said.

Last week, 3,166 new Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals (an average of 452 a day) and 42 fatalities (an average of six per day).

On Nov 12, there were 329 patients suffering from lung inflammation and 178 dependent on ventilators.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control, warned unvaccinated elderly people to stay at home and family members who visit entertainment places or other areas considered high risk to stay away from elderly relatives.

Meanwhile, Professor Yong Poovorawan of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, said the rise in Covid-19 cases is expected as it is normal for respiratory cases to increase during the late rainy season and early winter because of colder weather.

"However, the outbreak this time will be much milder because most people have had Covid-19 vaccines and have high immunity against Covid infection," Dr Yong said.

"Moreover, we also have access to high-quality and effective medicines such as molnupiravir, paxlovid, and remdesivir."

Theoretically, Dr Yong said, if people have already received three shots of any kind of vaccine more than six months ago, then their level of immunity will be reduced, so they will need another booster shot.

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