Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday vowed to have everyone in Chiang Mai fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November as the Public Health Ministry and local health authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak.
Chiang Mai, where 414 new infections were logged yesterday and the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases rose to 15,979, will receive 700,000 more doses in November, pledged Mr Charnvirakul during a visit to inspect the situation.
With the promised supply, the province should become the country’s first area to achieve 100% coverage and a model for other provinces, said Mr Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister.
As for the shortage of hospital beds for infected patients with severe illness, the ministry is considering transferring a number of them to hospitals in nearby provinces such as Chaing Rai and Lamphun, he said.
At least 2,340 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals in Chiang Mai, following new clusters of infections reported at several fresh markets in the province, according to the province’s communicable disease committee.
A new field hospital will be built if necessary, he said, adding, however, that the number of new cases will likely start to decline from next week although new infections will continue to occur as people travel between provinces.
Thailand recorded a total of 9,224 new infections of COVID-19 yesterday, including 259 cases detected in active case-finding operations, 126 infections in a number of prisons and seven people who had contracted the virus overseas and tested positive during their quarantine. A total of 88 COVID-19 deaths were reported.