PUBLIC Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has ordered all hospitals across the country to be fully prepared for an expected increase in the number of Covid patients after the Songkran festival, Sanook.com said today (Apr. 9).
Hospitals have also been instructed to brace for injuries from accidents and treat other illnesses.
Anutin mentioned that the government understood people do return to their hometown during Songkran in keeping with Thai tradition but this would lead to infection spreading.
People were urged to protect themselves as a large number of health workers were sacrificing their holidays to take care of patients.
However as Omicron infection generally causes less severe disease than infection with prior variants with this decreasing the fatality rate among those infected, Anutin pointed out that this was clearly because of the vaccination drive and urged those returning home to get members of their family in the high risk group vaccinated.
Even so there are people who refuse to get vaccinated and he urged those close to them to persuade them to get jabbed.
As for reopening the country, the minister said the Thai economy had been greatly affected and ways had to be found to help people earn a living.
The vaccination drive has led to loosening the lock with an example being pubs, bars and karaoke lounges being allowed to convert to restaurants and serve alcohol till 11 p.m. However entrepreneurs were told to respect the law and quickly deal with any problems that arise as currently a new normal lifestyle had to be followed.
Meanwhile the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said this morning there were 25,298 Covid cases and 98 deaths over the past 24 hours with 25,220 being domestic while 78 foreign arrivals tested positive.
This increased the cumulative confirmed total since Jan. 1 to 1,634,911 and from the onset of the pandemic 3,858,346.
Today’s 98 fatalities raised the death toll to 25,975.
Another 22,003 patients were cured taking total recoveries since Jan. 1 to 1,412,426 while 251,451 patients are still undergoing treatment.
Top: Traditional Songkran celebration. Photo: NNT
Home Page: Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Photo: Bhumjaithai Party