Absence of local infections no guarantee of safety: dept

Suwannachai: Warns against complacency
Suwannachai: Warns against complacency

Although Thailand has not reported any locally-transmitted case of Covid-19 in 83 days, that does not guarantee the country will be free from new infections in the coming months, the Department of Disease Control says.

Department director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai on Sunday warned the public against complacency, saying the absence of community transmission does not mean the risk of an outbreak has diminished.

Dr Suwannachai said as novel coronavirus cases have resurged in several countries which had reported zero local transmissions for over 100 days, the public must be ready for the possibility of a second wave, especially now that curbs on people-to-people interaction have been eased and Thai workers abroad — as well as foreign migrants — are starting to come back.

The second wave in Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand occurred right after restrictions were eased, he said.

Dr Suwannachai said that realistically, Thailand should not be aiming for zero new infections.

Instead, authorities should be focusing on rapid detection and effective treatments.

“We can handle any case, as long as the number of patients remains within the ministry’s treatment capacity,” he said.

When asked to assess the situation at schools after they were fully reopened last week, Dr Suwannachai said the ministry will review the policy in two weeks’ time, in conjunction with the Education Ministry.

Thailand reported one more coronavirus infection from overseas on Sunday, bringing total number of confirmed cases to 3,377, with fatalities still at 58.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said the new case was a 47-year-old male Thai worker who returned to the country from Singapore on Friday.


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