Masks advised in crowded places as Covid cases rise

Masks advised in crowded places as Covid cases rise

Commuters wear face masks on a bus in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Commuters wear face masks on a bus in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Ministry of Public Health is advising people to wear face masks in crowded places as the number of daily Covid-19 cases has risen by 10-20%.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent health secretary, said on Friday that the number of daily Covid-19 cases had increased 10-20% from the previously low level. He had instructed hospitals to encourage local  people to get their vaccine booster shots.

"The ministry wants 70% of the total population to have booster shots but it is still difficult to reach that target. The number of people getting jabs is declining on the recently improved Covid-19 situation," Dr Opas said.

The increase in cases was likely to be a small wave, but fatalities could rise accordingly.

"There are about 10 daily fatalities related to Covid-19 at this time. The toll could rise slightly along with the increasing number of daily cases," he said.

Hospitals could cope with the situation because most cases were outpatients and their symptoms were mild, Dr Opas said.

"The situation should improve again after New Year," he said.

He said the BA.2.75 subvariant of Omicron was spreading. There was no evidence that it caused severe illness. However, people should wear masks in crowded places to help protect themselves and others.


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