Another doctor has died from COVID-19 in the wake of renewed calls for booster shots of Pfizer vaccine for frontline health workers.
Air Marshal Anutra Chittinandana, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand, disclosed the death of Saranya Lapanich, a physician at Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, on his Facebook page on Thursday.
“I’m shocked about the news of Dr Lapanich,” he wrote, saying Dr Lapanich, also known as Dr Am, was a strong woman and well-liked by colleagues. “She is likely to be the first health worker at the hospital to die from COVID-19,” said Dr Chittinandana.
Pakpoom Dejhasadin, aka Panda Lab Doctor, a medical technician working at the National Blood Centre and Thai Red Cross Society, said Dr Lapanich had received two shots of Sinovac vaccine.
On Wednesday, Suksan Kittisupakorn, director of City Hall’s Medical Service Department, said a doctor at Chroenkrung Pracharak Hospital in Bang Kholaem district had died from COVID-19. Many health workers have called on the government to allocate the Pfizer vaccine donated by the US government to frontline health workers.
Meanwhile, pulmonologist Manoon Leechawengwongs said infection and fatality rates will increase substantially in the next 100 days as most parts of the country are dominated by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Dr Leechawengwongs, head of Vichaiyut Hospital’s intensive care unit, said infections may surge to 35 million cases, bearing 30,000 fatalities in the next 100 days. The government must relieve lockdown measures before the economy is badly damaged, Dr Leechawengwongs said, and step up vaccinations.
Thailand logged 147 new COVID-19 fatalities and a record 22,782 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported on Thursday.
There were 22,407 cases in the general population and 375 among prison inmates.
Over the previous 24 hours, 23,649 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering.
Bangkok had the most fatalities, with 70, while a further 38 coronavirus victims died in the adjacent provinces of Samut Sakhon (13), Samut Prakan (12), Pathum Thani (8) and Nakhon Pathom (5).