CCSA set to consider downgrading Covid to a surveillance disease


The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will on Friday consider downgrading the coronavirus to a communicable disease under surveillance, an official confirmed on Thursday.

General Supot Malaniyom, National Security Council secretary-general in his capacity as director of CCSA operations, said the administration would consider the Public Health Ministry’s proposal during a meeting on Friday.

The ministry is asking the CCSA to downgrade Covid-19 from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance from October 1.

Supot said that after the disease is downgraded, the CCSA will consider whether any special law or order is still required to control the situation. If not, the CCSA may be disbanded, he said.

However, the emergency law is still needed for now although the situation has improved, the secretary-general said.

Supot explained that the emergency law was still needed to control arrivals into the country and departures and to prohibit activity that would worsen the spread of the disease.

Covid infections seemed to be on the uptrend but measures to treat infected people and self-treatments were now heading in a promising direction, Supot pointed out.

The CCSA will also consider a Public Health Ministry plan to distribute Covid medicine via private hospitals and clinics before the drugs are made available at drugstores but only on a doctor's prescription, he said.

The ministry earlier said it would ask the CCSA to allow private hospitals and clinics to buy antiviral drugs directly from companies for treating Covid.

During the meeting on Friday, governors who chair provincial communicable disease committees will be instructed to implement an operation plan to prepare their provinces for declaring Covid an endemic disease.

The meeting will also consider opening more border checkpoints, according to Supot.

He added that if the Tourism and Transport ministries request the CCSA to extend the opening hours of pubs and bars to 4am in main tourist destinations, the CCSA would in turn ask the Interior Ministry to consider the matter and if the extension would affect Covid prevention measures in the tourist provinces.