Thailand is now on track to adopt post-pandemic approaches from July 1. The Department of Public Health said vaccines and boosters remain crucial prevention tools, as increases in cases remain a possibility.
Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, said widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Thailand is unlikely, adding that the disease itself has become less severe in nature. The permanent secretary also assured that the public health system is capable of handling future cases. He stressed, however, that this does not mean that the disease has been completely eradicated and that surveillance and monitoring of severe cases will remain in place.
Dr. Kiattiphum also noted that the status of COVID-19 as an endemic disease will ultimately depend on the World Health Organization. He further emphasized the importance of vaccinations, especially among the vulnerable population.
Thailand has so far administered 140 million doses of the COVID vaccine, and some 60 million people have already received at least one shot.
Regarding concerns about the spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants in Thailand, Dr Kiattiphum said the Department of Medical Sciences has been monitoring the development of the two strains of coronavirus since April. He also urges the general public to get his boosters, as these subvariants have been shown to be more effective at evading immune responses. (NNT)