End of state of emergency and COVID-19 centre

BANGKOK: The government will on Oct 1 lift the state of emergency imposed to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and dissolve the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin signs off as spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday after announcing the end of the state of emergency for COVID-19 response and the dissolution of the CCSA on Oct 1. Image via Bangkok Post

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said after Friday’s (Sept 23) meeting that the centre resolved to end the state of emergency imposed since March 24, 2020, and dissolve itself, because the local and global COVID-19 situation was improving, with new cases and fatalities declining, reports Bangkok Post.

“People and businesses have resumed normal activities and the Public Health Ministry is redefining COVID-19 as a communicable disease under surveillance, instead of a dangerous communicable disease,” Dr Taweesilp said.

On Oct 1 the Public Health Ministry would label COVID-19 a communicable disease instead of a dangerous communicable disease.

The government would continue to provide people with free COVID-19 vaccinations, but the response to COVID-19 would be under the jurisdiction of the public health minister, Dr Taweesilp said.

The spokesman also said the number of visitors to the kingdom rose from 427,869 last year to 5.2 million visitors this year as of Wednesday, and they had spent 211.97 billion baht in the country.

During the same period this year Thais made 98.7 million domestic trips and spent B432.89 billion.

Dr Udom Kachinthorn, an adviser to the CCSA, said there were 800-1,000 new COVID-19 inpatients and 13,000-14,000 people testing anti-gen positive for the disease on an average day.

“The number of infected people whose cases are not logged would 2-3 times as many. So, there are 30,000-40,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Most have mild symptoms and this is the reason why COVID-19 is redefined as a communicable disease under surveillance instead of a dangerous communicable disease,” he said.

However, Dr Udom advised people to keep wearing face masks unless they were outdoors because, he said, the fatality rate of COVID-19 cases had not dropped below 0.1%.

“COVID will continue to be an issue for at least another year before becoming an endemic disease. So people must take care of themselves by wearing face masks and keeping their distance,” he said.

He also said that vaccination was still necessary, to prevent severe illness and death and that booster shots could protect people from long COVID effects.

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