80% of all jabs deployed to Bangkok to protect vulnerable against Delta

MONDAY, JULY 05, 2021

The Public Health Ministry said on Monday that 80 per cent of all available vaccine doses are being deployed to Bangkok, as alarm grows over the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19.

The capital is at the epicentre of the ongoing third virus wave, logging 17 fatalities and 1,729 new cases on Monday.

The vaccines will be used to protect 1.8 million vulnerable Bangkok residents, namely people aged 60 and above and those with underlying health issues. At least 70 per cent of this group will be vaccinated within the next two weeks, said Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC). Vulnerable residents in surrounding provinces will be jabbed by the end of July and those in other provinces by August, he added.

Meanwhile, search, treatment, isolation, and control measures will focus on protecting these two vulnerable groups.

The ministry said it has also expanded screening and testing for the rest of the population by adding more out-of-hospital units, proactive search units, community clinics, and antigen testing at clinics, labs, or by self-administration.

Ministry Permanent Secretary Kiattipoom Wongrachit said the outbreak was being driven by super-transmissible variants, mostly in Bangkok and surrounding areas. He admitted the variant-driven caseload was worrisome but added that the ministry was not directly responsible for disease controls in Bangkok. However, it was helping by managing hospital beds and vaccination, he added.

The DDC has proposed three new disease controls:

1. Measures to find new infected people.

2. Upgrade healthcare system to deal with rising caseload.

3. Target front-line medical staff with booster vaccines.