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Spooked by Vietnam Outbreak, Top Thai Health Official Predicts Covid-19 2nd Wave

Thailand Bangkok Hospital Covid-19 Coronavirus Testing
Photo: Palm Panumas

The Disease Control Department is studying Vietnam’s second wave of the coronavirus cases to plan local preventative measures for when Thailand suffers a new outbreak.

Deputy Director-General Dr. Tanarak Plipat said Monday that the second wave of Covid-19 cases would happen in Thailand because there were active patients in the country and people who arrived from other countries who could be infected.

He said it was impossible to predict when the second wave would occur, but when it happens, officials will try to contain it.

Tanarak said it was possible for infected people to develop immunity naturally – so called “herd immunity” – but that would take a long time. He warned that the real number of infected people worldwide could be 10 times as many as the number of confirmed cases because some infected people were asymptomatic.

Thailand was closely monitoring the second wave in Vietnam as its cause remained unknown, he said.

Vietnam reported six new cases of Covid-19 infections on Monday, bringing total confirmed cases to 847, along with two more deaths. Government officials have pointed the finger at illegal aliens smuggled into the country for the new outbreak.

In Thailand, Tanarak said, migrant workers would be arriving but neither companies nor organizations had applied to set up an organizational quarantine facility to isolate migrant workers who wanted jobs in Thailand.

He urged officials at hospitals to conduct Covid-19 testing on people with pneumonia, medical personnel and people who contracted respiratory diseases in groups. That was to quickly identify Covid-19 patients and control the disease, he said.