10 Provinces On COVID-19 Watchlist After Spikes In Community Transmissions

Kiattiphun Wongrajit
Permanent secretary for public health Dr Kiatiphum Wongrajit.

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 Wongrajit 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 19th October 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 1st November, he said.