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Thai health officials consider downgrading Covid-19 from next month

Asian Development Bank

Covid-19 could be downgraded to a “communicable disease under surveillance” from next month, according to a Nation Thailand report. The virus is currently classified as a “dangerous communicable disease”, but Public Health Minister and one of the deputy PMs, Anutin Charnvirakul, says this is “under review”.

The October 1 date has been publicised before but this most recent announcement confirms the earlier proposed date for the downgrading of the pandemic virus.

Even if downgraded, Anutin says the illness still poses a threat to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions and “they should ensure they get their booster vaccine dose”. The so-called 608 group comprises people over the age of 60, pregnant women, people who weigh more than 90 kilograms, and those with chronic illnesses.

This group is advised to continue wearing face masks in public as they currently make up nearly 100% of Covid fatalities, according to Anutin, who once again reiterated his warning about trying to procure anti-viral drugs without a prescription.

“People who test positive should follow doctor’s suggestions and refrain from getting anti-viral drugs from pharmacies unless you have a prescription, as not all Covid-19 cases require drug treatment.”

Also from October, Thailand will take delivery of further shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be administered to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. In total, the Department of Disease Control has ordered 3 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Anutin adds that officials are currently deciding what the vaccine programme for next year will look like.

“As for the vaccine management plan for next year, the National Vaccine Institute’s Immunisation Subcommittee is finalising the details regarding target groups, the number of allocated booster shots, as well as the proposed budget.”

Today there were 1,587 confirmed positive PCR tests announced and another 19 Covid-related deaths.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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