The number of Covid-19 inpatients rose last week while health authorities encouraged vaccination for young children to protect their development.
Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said that from May 28 to June 3 there were 3,085 Covid-19 inpatients, up 4% from the previous week.
On average there were about 440 Covid-19 inpatients a day last week, up from 424 in the previous week.
However, the number of inpatients with lung inflammation dropped to 386 from 425. Among them, 243 were dependent on ventilators, down from 253.
Meanwhile, fatalities related to Covid-19 rose. Last week there were 68 new fatalities, up by 62% from 42 in the previous week.
Dr Tares said that elderly people, those with underlying diseases and pregnant women formed 97% of the new deaths and they were insufficiently vaccinated against Covid-19.
He encouraged people to receive annual vaccinations to prevent serious illness and death in case they contract the disease.
He said this year children younger than one year old had the highest rate of Covid-19 illness, 1,581 per 100,000 people, followed by those aged 70 years old and over, (647 per 100,000).
Dr Tares recommended parents bring young children for Covid-19 vaccinations. He said there were fewer undesireable symptoms among the young than among older children, and Covid-19 vaccines had proven internationally to be very safe for recipients.
There could be a fever for a few days, but no severe or dangerous symptoms in young vaccine recipients, he said.
Prof Dr Kulkalaya Chokpaibulkit, a paediatrician at Siriraj Hospital, said vaccination cut the risks of long Covid symptoms and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
Unvaccinated children with underlying illnesses could develop severe and prolonged symptoms which might affect their development, she said.