Call to keep calm despite surge in cases

BANGKOK: The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has called on the public not to panic after Thailand recorded over 10,000 new daily coronavirus cases on Saturday (Feb 5).

A nurse administers vaccination to a girl at a centre in Muang district of Phetchabun province on Feb 2. Photo: Sunthorn Kongwarakom / Bangkok Post

“The number is in line with our observation that the Omicron variant of [the coronavirus] is highly transmissible,” said Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the DDC, reports the Bangkok Post.

The COVID-19 situation will only be considered severe if infections spike to 30,000 cases per day, he said.

“The most important thing is the protective measures that prevent the spread of the virus.”

Thailand has largely vaccinated its population, he said, adding that people understand the COVID-19 situation and are taking extra care when holding ceremonies such as weddings, ordinations and funerals.

Most recent infections were detected in small clusters, where people had face-to-face interactions without face masks, he said.

Dr Opas said people should analyse the COVID-19 situation by focusing on the number of infections, severe cases and deaths.

Some 500 COVID-19 patients also suffered from pneumonia, with about 20–30 deaths, he said.

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Total infections have yet to reached the “dangerous line” on graphs, he said.

Thailand on Saturday logged 10,490 new cases, including 217 imported ones, and 21 new deaths.

The country registered 10,879 more COVID-19 cases and 20 new fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced this morning (Feb 6).

Meanwhile, a committee has approved a plan to give 6-year-old children the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, said Dr Paisarn Dunkum, secretary-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sinovac doses are being imported by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, while Sinopharm jabs are being brought in by Biogenetech Co, he said.

The vaccines were previously approved for people over 18, he said.

The FDA has told the agencies to submit additional information to expand inoculation to young children aged 3–5 years old, he said.

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