Monday, September 28, 2020

Ministry worried about Covid-19 scenario when lockdown ends

May 16. 2020
Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin
Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin
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By THE NATION

The three Ts -- tracing, testing and treatment -- at the community level hold the key to Thailand winning the battle to contain Covid-19, the spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said, while revealing three scenarios the Ministry of Public Health has projected from now until September.

“The first scenario is if Thailand continues the lockdown measures announced under the emergency decree, we will have approximately 15 new cases per day and three reported cases per day,” Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, CCSA spokesman, said on Friday (May 15). "The number of critical patients who need to stay in ICU and use ventilation machines will be 15, which is easily manageable."

“The second scenario is when the country starts to ease lockdown measures and lets certain businesses to operate as usual; we may have approximately 114 new cases per day and 24 reported cases per day,” he said. “We will also have 105 critical patients who need ventilation machines; our medical facilities and equipment should be adequate.”

According to Taweesin, the third scenario projects the situation when Thailand lifts all lockdown measures and allows all businesses to resume. The daily new cases could jump to 398 with 65 reported cases daily and 289 critical patients.

“The second scenario is the most suitable option for us,” said Taweesin.

The CCSA spokesman also added that even if the infection rate at the community level were reduced by 30-50 per cent, the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases would still be on a rising trend. “Examples from national pandemic models indicate that we need to reduce infection rate at community level to more than 70 per cent to keep the new confirmed cases at a manageable level,” he said. “Intense lockdown measures in the short term helped us achieve this and avoided a major pandemic that could have happened in April.”

“The key strategies to reduce community infection level is the 3Ts, which are tracing, testing and treatment,” Taweesin added.

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