Thai physicians pointed out factors as Thailand was approaching making Covid endemic, saying 70% of citizens must be fully vaccinated, Covid will either disappear or continue to mutate, and more.
Today, April 23rd, Dr. Wasan Chantrathit, Head of the Medical Genome Center from Ramathibodi Hospital’s Faculty of Medicine, made comments on the topic of “Counting backward to turn Covid from a pandemic into endemic”. He mentioned that the Ministry of Health should not be hasty and should maintain the balance by focusing on three main sections: The medical staff and public health system, the economy, and society.
In the early stage of Covid-19, public health became a priority, but now, according to Dr. Wasan, we needed to pay more attention to the economy and mental health in line with other nations that were turning toward making Covid endemic. However, Covid-19 must be under control as 70% of the citizens should get a booster, there must be no shortage of hospital beds, and immediate treatment must be available for all who need it.
Dr. Wasan also mentioned that the Beta, Alpha, and Delta variants have already gone virtually extinct, and the dominant variant now is Omicron, but it is still manageable if vaccinated. He said that WHO anticipated Covid-19 to either stop mutating and gradually disappear or mutate into a worse variant, which will need a new vaccine.
Dr. Kanat Kruthakun, President of the Federation of Health and Elderly, said that for the elderly, the most important matter is to prepare enough hospital beds so that they would be able to immediately access treatment because the most common cause of fatality was older patients not getting treated in time.
“We usually look at the mortality rate rather than the infection rate before making Covid-19 endemic. The government should import more medicine at a lower cost and deal with the patient’s issue so that the medicine can be produced domestically.” Dr. Kanat said.
The last physician to comment on the Covid19 situation today, Dr. Anupong Suchariyakul from the Department of Disease Control, said that Thailand intended to open more international travel as we are ready to turn Covid into endemic in July. Similarly, the most important things are the mortality and infection rates. The mortality rate should be roughly that of Dengue fever.
“ The current Covid-19 situation is getting better, but it is still high in Asia. Though, citizens should learn to take care of themselves and can remain home if they have only mild symptoms. I still find that 95% of the casualties are the patients with pneumonia, many prior health conditions, or not vaccinated.” Dr. Anupong said.
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