Doctor seeks drastic changes in handling of new Covid-19 cases
Well-known respiratory specialist Dr Manoon Leechawengongs called for radical changes in the way new Covid-19 cases are handled and for expensive RT-PCR tests in general to be stopped.
Vichaiyut Hospital’s Dr Manoon said on his Facebook page on Wednesday that the changes are necessary for the government to save money for treating people with other more severe diseases now that it has become clear the Omicron strain causes much less severe symptoms.
The doctor said Omicron causes six times lower fatalities and its symptoms are like those of a common cold for those who have been fully vaccinated.
He noted that 70 per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated and 25 per cent have received a booster dose, so Thailand should deal with Omicron like several other countries are doing now.
“The government should not focus only on treatment of this disease but it should also take into account its budget and the economic situation,” Manoon wrote on his Facebook page.
He said several countries have stopped the expensive RT-PCR tests in general because it was a sheer waste of money. He said these tests should be carried out only for patients in risk groups who need to be admitted to hospitals or patients in elderly care centres.
Manoon also urged those who suspect they have contracted the virus to test themselves using antigen test kits.
He pointed out that several other countries no longer quarantined people with mild symptoms and patients went into quarantine at home, taking medicines and care of themselves.
“The government should not give Favipiravir medicines, thermometers or oxygen checkers to everyone who gets infected. The kits should be distributed only to people in risk groups, the elderly, those with seven comorbidities, pregnant women and the unvaccinated,” the doctor made clear.
He said he agreed with the government’s plan to delist Covid-19 from conditions covered by the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients scheme from the beginning of next month.
“I agree with this because the government also needs to save money for taking care of people with other diseases. The government must explain this to the people and the people should not panic,” Manoon added.