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Covid-19 underreported, estimates 50,000 daily cases

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From The Thaiger and The Nation

While government figures report around 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, a respiratory disease specialist says that the actual number is hugely underreported. In a Facebook post, Dr Nithiphat Chiarakun, head of the department of respiratory diseases and tuberculosis of Mahidol University’s Siriraj Faculty of Medicine estimated that there could be as many as 50,000 new Covid-19 infections every day in Thailand.

The associate professor says that the information he’s receiving put the daily new infection rate at about 25 times the official reported numbers from the Ministry of Public Health. He says that the situation is quite troublesome, and asks people to be vigilant in the safety measures against Covid-19 despite the fatigue of more than 2 years of what looked to be a waning pandemic.

“If we don’t join forces to slow down and control new infections, we may see people with severe conditions left in communities and the number of fatalities may rise. It’s about time now that the government must tell the truth and warn people to get ready to cope with a bad situation.”

The doctor fears the underreported spike in new cases could lead to shortages of medical personnel as well as hospital beds like we saw at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged that the public must fight to prevent a rapid spread. As has often been the case, most of the people who have been admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 now also suffer from other illnesses are diseases, but the number of hospital admissions is rising.

The main hospitals in Bangkok and around Thailand are already quietly looking the more hospital beds in case the spike continues, and workers assigned to Covid-19 patients are doubling their efforts. The doctor said beds that had previously been reserved for Covid-19 patients for already occupied by people with other diseases.


From Khaosod English and Rural Doctors Society

health ministry warns medical workers of new Covid-19 wave in a secret document


The Permanent Secretary of the Thai Public Health Ministry, Kiattiphum Wongarajit, has launched an urgent report to warn the provincial public health officers of the “new wave” of Covid-19 in Thailand.

The official Facebook page of the Rural Doctor Society reported on their “urgent and secret document” to the public yesterday. The page said… “The warning sign to get ready for the new Covid-19 wave. The permanent secretary launched the document to the provincial public health officers in each province. The date of the document is June 30.”

“The document urges each healthcare service centre to get ready due to the increasing numbers of new Covid-19 cases in various areas. Get the hospital beds ready, and prepare the system to transfer patients with severe symptoms. Please don’t be careless people.”

In the document, the MOPH urges provincial public health officers in every province to prepare according to 8 guidelines…

First, inform every medical worker about the increasing numbers of Covic-19 patients and protect themselves according to the universal precautions.

Second, prepare medicines and Covid-19 prevention equipment.

Third, prepare hospital beds for patients, especially those with critical symptoms.

Forth, practice transferring processes in case patients need a specific treatment from other hospitals.

Fifth, urge medical workers to get a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine

Sixth, inform residents on how to protect themselves from Covid-19 and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Seventh, collaborate with relevant departments to create a plan for controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Eighth, gather and update all data related to Covid-19 .

Yesterday, a doctor from the Internal Medicine Department of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Nitiphat Chierakul, posted on his personal Facebook saying the Covid-19 situation in Thailand is currently becoming more serious. The doctor urged the government to reveal the truth to the public.

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From The Thaiger

CCSA to discuss re-introduction of mask-wearing in public areas today

Thai PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha is meeting with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration today at Government House. The prime minister is also the Chairperson for Thailand’s Covid taskforce that has overseen ongoing policy since April 2020 when the country enacted the emergency decree. The emergency decree remains in force.

Today’s CCSA meeting is held as Thailand copes with a levelling-off of Omicron infections whilst there’s a rise in the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variant infections. On today’s agenda is concerns from the public health department about the late-June decision to make the wearing of face masks in open spaces voluntary.

This week Thailand’s public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he expected an increase in new infections over the next 10 weeks and claimed his ministry did not support making the wearing of face masks voluntary.

Also, the head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Siriraj Hospital recommended the government “to reinstate Covid-19 measures, including the requirement for everywhere to wear face masks.

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From The Thaiger

CCSA address face masks, emergency decree and foreign arrivals

Today, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met with the Covid-19 Situation Administration – the CCSA – to discuss Covid-19 rules and restrictions in Thailand. Namely, the use of face masks, the extension of Thailand’s emergency decree and foreign arrival figures.

Face Masks

The CCSA spokesperson announced that, to combat rising Covid-19 cases, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health ‘recommends’ the use of face masks in crowded spaces, although it is not a legal requirement…

“The Prime Minister has instructed relevant agencies to communicate with the public that although there are no legal obligations for people to wear face masks, people are still very strongly advised to do so especially when it is deemed necessary or if you feel you are exposed to a potential high risk scenario of infection.”

“According to the Ministry of Public Health, the government still encourages people to wear masks, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.”


Emergency Decree

The CCSA announced that the government has approved the extension of Thailand’s emergency decree for a further 2 months, from August 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022.

Foreign Arrivals

Since Thailand Pass was scrapped on July 1, foreign arrivals have increased, said the CCSA.

On July 6 alone, 30,947 foreign tourists arrived in Thailand. The top 5 countries with the most tourists travelling to Thailand on July 6 were…

1) Malaysia (5,315)

2) India (3,077)

3) Singapore (1,667)

4) Vietnam (1,667)

5) Australia (1,369)

During the period March 1, 2022 – July 6, 2022, Thailand saw a total of 2,214,132 foreign arrivals. During these months, the top 5 countries with the most tourists travelling to Thailand were…

1) India (249,466)

2) Malaysia (227,146)

3) Singapore (137,739)

4) United Kingdom (128,369)

5) United States (112,791)



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I'm not sure now what the regulation is re heavily peopled places like th Skytrain and MRT. The Skytrain still has notices that masks must be worn at all times in the Skytrain system. Yet the other day I was on a near packed train on the Sukhumvit Line. Everyone that I could see was wearing masks except three burly tourists all of whom were speaking German. Sure they had masks, but they had them around their throats. When Thais see tourists getting away with flouting the Skytrain rules, I wonder how long it will be before local residents start taking off masks.

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I don't know about the situation in Thailand, but in the US, the virus has become extremely weak. The percentage of people hospitalized testing positive is nearly the same as the percentage of people in the general population testing positive (2-3%), and it is extremely rare for the virus to put someone in the ICU or worse, despite very high prevalence rates. The effectiveness of masking has also been quite questionable, since jurisdictions with masking requirements have not seen significant differences in transmission or prevalence compared to jurisdictions without masking requirements. In theory, masks should work (the filter droplets), but real-life statistics don't seem to support their efficacy. I believe we have come to the point where we should be paying far more attention to hospitalization, ICU, and death rates, and far less attention to "case" rates. 

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