Bangkok Post

Ten provinces on Covid watchlist


>>Ten provinces are on the Public Health Ministry’s Covid-19 watchlist due to spikes in community transmissi­ons, said permanent secretary Kiatiphum Wongrajit.

He said the Covid-19 situation in Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Tak, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Chanthabur­i and Nakhon Ratchasima is being closely monitored.

A Covid-19 containmen­t plan will be drawn up to curb the spread of the virus while rapid testing and vaccinatio­n campaigns for vulnerable groups will be ramped up, he said.

Dr Kiatiphum said virus infections in the southern, eastern and central regions remain high, so the ministry has asked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administra­tion to set up “forward command centres” to manage the situation and speed up vaccinatio­ns.

With the daily caseload still in the 10,000s, the ministry plans to intensify efforts to push the number of infections down by half and lower fatalities to below 30, he said.

The home and community isolation programme will carry on to help save hospital beds for patients with moderate and severe symptoms, he said, adding the number of cases in Bangkok is expected to fall from four digits to three digits next week.

The ministry also plans to inoculate at least 50% of people in every province by the end of this month. In the “Covid-19 free area” designated by the provinces, the vaccinatio­n target is set at 70% of the general population and 80% of vulnerable groups.

Across the country, about 51% of Thais have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine. He said about 2.8 million doses of Sinovac and AstraZenec­a will be delivered to target areas by Oct 19 and supplies would be allocated on a weekly basis.

A total of 699,908 doses of Sinovac will also go to 17 provinces which are reopening to internatio­nal visitors on Nov 1, he said.

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