Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reminded the public yesterday to take precautions against covid-19 to help avoid another resurgence of the virus as schools restarted on-site learning.
“If we are more careful … there will be less opportunity for Covid to spread again,” he said, adding that vulnerable groups and especially elderly people with chronic diseases should get booster vaccines as soon as possible.
The Control Disease Department has launched health measures, designating schools to assess infections and only test at-risk teachers and students to avoid school closures and unnecessary tests.
Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, wrote on his Facebook account that Covid-19 will soon become endemic, similar to the flu.
In 2009, swine flu infections soared during the first term of school in the rainy season but declined from October-November. The country saw a resurgence of cases from January to March but they dropped again when schools broke for summer.
Health professionals expect Covid-19 to follow a similar pattern and are urging the public to get jabbed annually before the new school term starts, to induce immunity.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the ministry has not yet proposed the cabinet declare Covid-19 as an endemic disease despite the declining rate of infections.
New cases declined for the fifth straight day yesterday. The daily caseload of 3,893 — down 1,345 from the day before — was the lowest recorded since Jan 4, before the Omicron wave struck the country.