Laxity in following preventive measures could increase cases to 28,000 daily

SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2021

The Department of Disease Control and International Health Policy Program agency have created a mathematical model to estimate the number of daily Covid-19 cases in 2021 as of Sunday, based on four main measures. The model considers five possible situations.

The results of the study showed the likely number of new patients daily for the next month.

Case 1: No theoretical measures

-- 9,140 projected average cases per day, with lowest 1,308 cases per day and maximum 28,678.

Case 2: Closed entertainment venues in risky provinces

-- 2,996 projected average cases per day with 817 the lowest and 7,244 maximum.

Case 3: Closed entertainment venues in risky provinces and focus on personal behaviour adjustments

-- 934 projected average cases per day with 475 cases per day the lowest and maximum 1,589.

Case 4: Closure of entertainment venues in risky provinces, adjusting personal behaviour and reducing public gathering activities

-- 593 projected average cases per day with lowest of 378 per day and 857 maximum.

Case 5: Closed entertainment venues in risky provinces, focus on personal behaviour adjustment, reducing group activities and working from home

-- 391 projected average cases per day with 303 the lowest per day and 484 the maximum.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithaworn, director-general of the Communicable Diseases Division under the Department of Disease Control, said that Covid-19 infection was found to be increasing quickly and spreading in many provinces. Most of them are linked to entertainment venues, pubs and karaoke bars. To reduce the risk of a major outbreak, especially during Songkran, four important measures are necessary.

▪︎Social measures: Reduce social gatherings and unnecessary travel across provinces. Community leaders have to find and track people arriving from vulnerable areas and promote preventive measures.

▪︎Public health measures: Proactive screening, separating groups of high-risk and low-risk people to narrow down the spread, provide thorough care to reduce morbidity, and vaccinate people to reduce the severity of the disease.

▪︎Individual measures: DMHTTA is needed for individuals (D - distancing, M - wearing mask , H - washing hands, T - taking temperature, T - testing for Covid- 19 , A - use applications, such as ThaiChana and MorChana). Those who visit high-risk areas must be strictly self-quarantined, especially those going to entertainment venues

▪︎Organisational measures: Focus on work-from-home; online meetings; arrange learning and training online , and hold teleconference, which can replace on-site meetings effectively.