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Thailand Frantic to Contain Covid-19 Surge in South in 2 Months

Thai residents in Pattani Province line up to register for Covid-19 testing.
Thai residents in Pattani Province line up to register for Covid-19 testing.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections in the South, prompting an order to to Public Health Ministry to reverse the surge and contain the outbreak within two months.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the discovery of 1,922 new Covid-19 patients in a single day in the four southern border provinces of Pattani, Songkhla, Narathiwat and Yala has triggered worries about whether the number of infected persons in the area would continue to trend upward.

He said Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha had expressed his concern over the development and had ordered Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiatiphum Wongrajit to visit the area to check on the situation.

A goal has been set for the outbreak in the four provinces to be contained within 30-60 days. Authorities will work to reduce the number of infected persons by 10 percent each week by implementing social measures and discouraging gatherings.

“Covid-Free Setting Areas” will be set up and people’s access to antigen test kits will be improved. Hospitals in the area will also prepare beds to accommodate patients with moderate to severe symptoms.

The ministry has already dispatched 1 million tablets of the favipiravir drug to the four provinces, in addition to 20,000 sets of ATK, 100 oxygen concentrators, 25,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine.

He urged locals in the four provinces to exercise the utmost caution and protect themselves to the highest degree possible, even though the CCSA has relaxed some restrictions and allowed certain activities to resume.