The Ministry of Public Health and the Thai Department of Disease Control explained this morning, April 12th, 2021, that they have divided provinces in the country into five color rankings in regards to the recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in the Kingdom.
However, it’s important to note these colors are NOT THE SAME as the color-coding system used by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, to designate control measures and are separate systems. This means that because a province is red (like Chonburi) they are not automatically given new restrictions or measures but rather used as a baseline by the Ministry of Public Health for where they are focusing their attention.
Dr. Opaskarn Kawinpong The Director-General of Disease Control, explained the new system to the press earlier today. This comes on the same day that Thailand had, for almost two days in a row, nearly 1,000 new cases of the Covid-19 virus.
The chart divides Thailand into white provinces (ones that have not had any cases from this current round of infections), Green (cases that have come from other provinces but no signs of a local breakout), Yellow (cases from other provinces and seen family or small groups broken out but no widespread infection, Orange (an outbreak in the province of 50 people or less), and Red (an outbreak of more than 100 people in the province.)
The current red provinces are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Sa Kaeo.
The current orange provinces are Phuket, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Saraburi, and Rayong.
Dr. Opas explained that this system would be used to designate a variety of medical support including Covid-19 testing, contact tracing, proactive testing, hospital support, and other health measures. Once again, it is very important to note that this designation has nothing to do with the CCSA color designation that controls restrictions and does not mean any additional restrictions or measures, such as travel or business closures, have been added to “red provinces.”
Dr. Opas also stated that nearly all of the patients in the current outbreak were asymptomatic or mild and almost all young, primarily those who frequent entertainment venues. He also said that part of what was making this current outbreak difficult was that some people were concealing their timelines for fear of being “caught” for going to entertainment or adult venues and some people appeared to be avoiding taking Covid-19 tests for various reasons.
Dr. Opas stressed that the Department of Public Health was not looking to charge anyone for crimes like underage drinking or embarrass anyone for going to certain venues or locations. He made it clear that the only goal of the Ministry of Public Health was to control the Covid-19 situation and that the faster everyone came forward and cooperated the faster the situation could be brought under control.