BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Public Health Ministry estimated that the transition of Covid-19 into an endemic could come half a month sooner than its previous estimation of July 1 thanks to the improving situation.
“We are seeing a decreasing number of daily infections, while most confirmed patients have no or mild symptoms with lower severity than even influenza,” ministry permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Wednesday (May 18).
“This is due to the increasing number of vaccinations administered that are now covering a majority of the population, which means that Covid-19 could be declared endemic sooner than we thought.”
Kiattiphum said that to prepare for this, the Department of Medical Services is planning to adjust Covid-19 treatment with focus on treating all patients with medium to severe symptoms as in-patients at hospitals to reduce the chance of death.
Meanwhile, those with mild or no symptoms will be treated as outpatients and allowed to go into home isolation.
Furthermore, the department will prepare a plan to treat patients with Long Covid symptoms, which could occur in 15 to 30 per cent of patients who have recovered from Covid-19.
The plan will focus on integrating patient treatment history among medical institutes after patients are sent home, and monitoring of Long Covid symptoms on a weekly or monthly basis to make sure patients receive suitable treatment in time.
Long Covid could have more than 50 symptoms, the most common being fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, muscle ache, joint ache, chest pain, coughing, diarrhoea, loss of smell, and depression.
In some cases, patients are reported to have trouble concentrating, while some athletes said their physical ability was not at the same level before they contracted Covid.
“Although the Covid-19 situation is steadily improving, people are still advised to stick to preventive measures including wearing face masks in crowded spaces or areas with poor ventilation and when interacting with patients, washing one’s hands regularly, and remaining in self-isolation if they have Covid-19 symptoms,” Kiattiphum made clear.
On Thursday Thailand recorded 6,305 Covid-19 cases and 43 deaths in the past 24 hours, while 7,567 patients were cured and allowed to leave hospital. Cumulative cases in the country since Jan 1, 2022, stand at 2,171,480.