Thailand’s caseload will only drop ‘if more people stay indoors’
The daily surge in infections and deaths despite a lockdown proves that the restrictions are only 20 per cent efficient, the Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Monday.
He explained that if the lockdown restrictions are upped by even 5 per cent and if everybody at risk, including the elderly, is vaccinated, then the daily caseload and deaths will drop considerably.
However, Kiattiphum said, this can only be achieved if all sectors cooperate to make the lockdown more efficient, such as cutting down on travel and meetings and taking better care of oneself.
Also, he said, about 80 per cent of the country’s 185,417 hospital beds nationwide are occupied by Covid-19 patients in the provinces. In Bangkok, 90 per cent of available hospital beds, or 41,659, are occupied. Hence, he said, people must isolate themselves at home or in community quarantine facilities.
The Department of Disease Control, meanwhile, said that though fewer people are venturing out, the number of pedestrians and vehicles is not as low as last year.
During Thailand’s first lockdown, both pedestrian and vehicle traffic had dropped by 80 per cent in Bangkok and Chonburi, compared to just 60 to 70 per cent this year. The department said if people stop venturing outside their homes, the risk of transmission will drop significantly.