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100,000 proactive Covid-19 tests planned by June-end

May 29. 2020
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By The Nation

The Department of Medical Sciences plans at least 100,000 tests by June-end as a proactive move to find Covid-19 cases.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the department which operates under the Ministry of Public Health, said that laboratory analysis would be divided into three groups: suspected cases, close contact with the infected, and proactive inspection of at least 100,000 samples within June.

Some have already been implemented in many provinces such as Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani, Pattani and others. The process is not expected to take long because it will be done at the same time involving aboratories from all over the country, which will help create a database to catch outbreak signals, he said.

The proactive search will assess two groups: at-risk people who have to work with a large number of people or work in public places with the opportunity to meet more patients, such as health personnel, public vehicle drivers, etc, and crowded places where social distancing is hard to implement, such as workers who are crowded in a certain area or inmate groups.

An important mechanism for proactive search is the provincial communicable disease committee headed by the governor. The central office will issue instructions on which groups to check based on inputs about which groups are at risk.

Thailand has tested more than 400,000 samples, enabling control of the epidemic, Dr Opas said.

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