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Public Health Ministry Considering New Lockdown Rules

Published: April 26, 2021 at 1:04 pm

New Lockdown

The Public Health Ministry is calling on an urgent meeting today, and one of the possible agenda is a revision of color coding system and the formulation of what are called “targeted lockdown” measures in response to the ongoing third wave.

This was confirmed by Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit on Sunday.
This came after Thailand logged its highest daily death toll so far. On Sunday, the Kingdom reported 11 new fatalities to the COVID-19, which raised the total deaths to 110. In addition, the Kingdom also saw the addition of 2,438 cases, which is another record-breaking total for daily cases.

2,428 of the new cases are local transmissions. Only five cases were detected in arrivals from abroad.
Thailand now has a cumulative total of 55,460 cases since the start of the pandemic.

The meeting will be convened by the authority of the Public Health Emergency Operation Center.
Because of the severity of the cases in the third wave, the Public Health Ministry is proposing to revise the current red, yellow and green color coding used to symbolize the risk of each province for COVID-19.

The current system tags provinces with the highest number of infections under the red zone, which is also called the maximum control zone. The other two colors are orange, which means high control zone, and the two surveillance zones, yellow and green.

Green is used for provinces that are virtually COVID-free.
Dr. Kiattiphum said that the Ministry is proposing to change these into dark red, red and orange. The latest addition is dark red, which means special maximum control, a heightened version of the current maximum control zone.

The maximum control zones will remain under red and orange.
The health permanent secretary said that each communicable disease committee in the provinces will be requested to adopt “targeted lockdown” rules. The goal of these is to minimize crowds by banning activities that can bring large numbers of people together.

Dr. Kiattipuhum said that the Operations Center will also attempt to tackle the issue of hospital bed shortage in the capital during the meeting.

He clarified that the shortage requires a revised management system to better prepare beds for coming cases, especially since they are expecting more locally transmitted cases with the third wave still ongoing.

Dr. Kiattiphum said that the Department of Medical Services has started implementing a 10-day admittance period for people who come in with mild symptoms. If they do not develop any symptoms within that time period, they will be sent home in order to free more beds for new cases with severe symptoms.

He said that the Center will then forward their solutions and proposals to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration in its next weekly meeting.

In related news, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to meet with members of the private sector in order to discuss the procurement of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses. The meeting will tackle how the private sector can contribute to the procurement and distribution of new vaccines.



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