Saturday, July 24, 2021

in-focus

Physicians warn of 4th wave risk if country reopened in 120 days


The Royal College of Physicians of Thailand (RCPT) on Monday warned the government that its decision to reopen the country within 120 days may lead to the fourth Covid-19 wave and virus mutation.

The RCPT suggested the following approach to the government:

1. The government must launch measures that lead to effective disease control. They have to cooperate with all sectors in order to bring the situation under control and restore confidence among citizens and tourists. Most importantly, they should not announce long holidays because it may cause the virus to spread, similar to the Songkran holidays.

2. Proactive tests must be conducted nationwide, especially in areas where a Covid-19 cluster emerges, factories, fresh markets and worker camps. They must use area restriction measure once the Covid-19 cases were found, so as to contain the spread as soon as possible.

3. The law must be strictly enforced to contain the spread of the disease, especially on those sneaking into the country, gambling, having gatherings, holding rallies and travelling.

4. The government must procure Covid-19 vaccines to meet demand and prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants that may affect the efficacy of current vaccines. Also, they should have transparency on vaccine distribution.

5. The government must prepare measures for foreign tourists, prioritising disease control than stimulating the economy, so as to ensure that the country's reopening will not lead to the fourth Covid-19 wave.

6. The government must review the appropriateness before reopening the country based on the situation at home and abroad, the number of vaccinated Thais, the spread of Covid-19 variants and readiness of the public health system.

Published : June 22, 2021

By : The Nation