Upward trend in infections keeps Thailand under Covid alert level 4


Thailand will remain under Covid-19 alert level 4 because infections are still on a rising trend, the Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Friday.

The ministry had raised the country’s Covid-19 alert level to 4 on January 6 when the daily infection rate began surging. Under level 4, all high-risk venues like bars, pubs and karaoke joints will remain closed, while people are required to refrain from travelling or gathering in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Earlier this week, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul indicated the possibility of lowering the alert level by one point as the situation is “partly under control” with less than 20 deaths per day.

“On Friday, Thailand had 8,640 new Covid-19 infections and 13 deaths. While the death rate is still low, daily infections show an upward trend,” Kiattiphum said. “Currently, 82,720 patients are undergoing treatment, 540 of whom have pneumonia, while 118 patients are on respirators.”

The ministry also reported a total of 289 Covid-19 deaths since January 1. Of the fatalities, 159 were aged over 70 and 58 in the 60-69 age group.

“The ministry is advising people to refrain from travelling upcountry, visiting high-risk venues and engaging in prolonged group activities,” he said. “These rules must be particularly adhered to, especially in highly populated areas like Bangkok and surrounding provinces, as well as ‘blue zone’ provinces that have opened some of their districts to foreign visitors.

“If you come into close contact with a confirmed patient, isolate yourself at home for seven days and monitor your symptoms closely,” Kiattiphum advised. “During this period, take an ATK test on the fifth or sixth day. If the test comes back positive, then call 1330 to register under the ministry’s home-isolation system.

“If the test is negative, complete your seven days of isolation after which you can go outdoors only when necessary,” he added. “Take the test again on day 10, and if the test is still negative then consider the isolation over.”