Home Coronavirus

Thailand’s Coronavirus 1st Wave Officially Over, Health Ministry Declares

3 Covid-19 incubation cycles have come & gone with no local transmission, but 2nd wave looms on horizon

Thailand flattened the curve and vanquished the virus less than three months after locking down March 18.
Thailand flattened the curve and vanquished the coronavirus, with no local cases in 44 days.

Thailand officially pronounced the first wave of its coronavirus epidemic over, but cautioned a second way looms on the horizon.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported two new infections among Thais in state quarantine on Wednesday, but for the 44th consecutive day said there have been no reported cases of local coronavirus transmission.

Having now gone more than three complete Covid-19 incubation cycles without a reported case, Thailand’s cautious officials finally are declaring victory.

Dr. Anupong Sujariyakul, a senior Disease Control Department official, told a news conference on Wednesday the first wave has ended. Thailand can now move ahead cautiously to reopen, but must continue pandemic-necessitated disease-control practices to avoid a second wave.

He said the Ministry of Public Health sees the need to revive the flagging economy, but Thais and expats alike must continue to wear face masks, wash hands regularly and practice social distancing.

The real threat remains outside the borders, as seen in the steady stream of infected Thais returning home, he said.

CCSA spokeswoman Dr. Panprapa Yongtrakul said the cases were reported Wednesday were a male worker aged 31 who returned on June 23. Six others on his plane also have tested positive for Covid-19. The other was a religion teacher, age 39, who returned June 24.

The country’s airspace remains closed to planes carrying foreign tourists and may remain so for a while the head of the Civil Aviation Authority said agreements to create so-called “travel bubbles” likely will have to be postponed indefinitely due to overseas outbreaks in intended-partner countries.

The country is also moving to lock down its land borders.

In a meeting with military chiefs Wednesday, defense forces chief Gen. Pornpipat Benyasri ordered borderline forces to stand guard to block intercept immigrants who may be carrying the coronavirus.

Total Covid-19 cases rose to 3,197. Of those, 3,074 recovered and were released from hospitals and 65 remained under doctors’ care. The death stands at 58.