Thailand on Tuesday reported another near-record number of coronavirus cases with the Disease Control Department saying it doesn’t expect Covid-19 infections in Bangkok to decline until late August or early September.
A day after posting a record 15,376 cases, the Public Health Ministry said another 14,150 tested positive for the virus with 118 losing their lives. Thaialnd on Monday passed the half-million mark for total cases, about 0.75 percent of the kingdom’s population. Only 5.5 percent of the public is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Chief epidemiologist Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont said Monday that cases in Bangkok likely will level off in four-to-six weeks.
The coronavirus situation in Bangkok is different from those in surrounding provinces because, despite a rise in cases, the Covid-19 vaccinatin rate in the capital is relatively high with 50 percent of those in the city’s legal limits having received at least one dose.
Global studies repeatedly have shown that only one dose of inferior vaccines such those from China’s Sinovac or Sinopharm do not provide high levels of immunity against the coronavirus and, particularly, the delta variant.
Chakkarat said Thailand is expected to see more Covid-19 cases in Bangkok, including intra-family transmission and those who return home for care and treatment.
He said everyone needs to cooperate to avoid the “Wuhan model” of total lockdown from being imposed.
Under the strategy used in the early days of the pandemic in China – and this week in Nha Trang, Vietnam – everything is shut down, including food markets, with the military delivering food and water door-to-door.
Businesses and factories should implement the “bubble and seal method” if the premises remain free of infections. Under this scheme, workers cannot leave their employers’ properties.
For outlets where infections are reported, they are advised to avoid shutting down, as that would result in workers returning home and triggering community transmission.
The National News Bureau of Thailand contributed to this report.