Thai healthcare will buckle if Covid surge goes unchecked, warns expert


With infections from the highly transmissible Omicron variant surging in Thailand, steps should be taken to stop the crisis from getting out of hand as it has done in Europe, a medical expert warned on Saturday.

Assoc Prof Dr Thira Woratanarat, from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, said in a Facebook post that more than 455 million people across the world have contracted Covid-19 and over 6 million have succumbed to the virus.

The countries with the highest number of infections on Saturday were South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and France, he wrote. Of the top 10 countries with the highest number of infections, nine are in Europe and Asia, he pointed out.

The professor also noted that Asia, Europe and the Americas account for 96 per cent of global Covid cases and almost 98 per cent of total deaths.

Europe alone accounts for 47 per cent of total cases and 37 per cent of all casualties.

On Friday, Thailand was on the 12th rank worldwide and fourth in Asia for the number of new Covid-19 infections and held the 22nd spot in the world for Covid-related deaths.

The doctor warned that the Thai economy was not as strong as that of high-income European countries, so an outbreak of their magnitude would bring the Kingdom’s healthcare system to its knees.

“Our outbreak will worsen, given the currently high rate of infection,” he warned. “With fewer economic resources than the wealthy countries, the impact of the outbreak will be too tough to handle.”