Covid-19 severity decreasing: Dr Yong


The severity of Covid-19 is declining thanks to vaccinations and improved diagnostics and medication, Chulalongkorn University expert virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan said on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, Yong said the severity of the diseases has been gradually declining since it was first discovered in China in late 2019.

Yong, who is chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, said the early version of Covid-19 had a mortality rate of 3-5 per cent as the virus infected the lungs and developed into pneumonia.

“However, as new waves occurred, we saw a declining trend in disease severity,” he pointed out.

Yong cited a report from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which said the hospitalisation rate during the Omicron outbreak dropped to 4.9 per cent, compared to 15.1 per cent during Delta.

“In Thailand, the mortality rate of Covid-19, when it first spread in the country [in 2020], was around 1 per cent. This has dropped to less than 0.1 per cent these days, while the hospitalisation rate has also declined significantly, with most new patients being treated at home now,” he added.

Yong said the reason behind the declining severity is the fact that most people have been vaccinated, creating herd immunity against the virus.

“Furthermore, diagnostics methods and technology have also improved over the years, resulting in faster, more accurate detection of infections and therefore improving the chance of cure,” he wrote.

“We have also developed more efficient drugs to counter symptoms and reduce the chance of hospitalisation and death.”

On Wednesday, Thailand recorded 1,129 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths in the past 24 hours, while 934 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

The number of cumulative cases in the country since January 1, 2022, stands at 2,452,097, with 10,970 deaths.