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Public Health Ministry Plans Endemic Sandbox

Published: May 13, 2022 at 8:09 pm

phuket tourist wearing mask

The Ministry of Public Health will submit a proposal declaring Covid-19 an endemic on 3 tourist islands, Phuket, Koh Chang, and Koh Samui, making way for night entertainment businesses to reopen in the area.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit, secretary of the Ministry of Health, said that the ministry would seek permission from the CCSA Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for its “endemic sandbox” program. They consider this as the first step to declaring Covid-19 an endemic disease in Thailand.

He added that the benchmark for an endemic sandbox includes decreasing number of COVID-19 cases, the preparedness of medical facilities, and strong vaccination rates in the area.

Dr. Kiattiphum said, “We chose the islands that are the best tourist sites because of their limited area for easier response and management.”

He anticipated that the program would result in the government declaring Covid-19 an endemic.

In the sandboxes, nightclubs would be allowed to reopen with limited restrictions, and clients would be required to be completely vaccinated. People with underlying conditions should avoid these locations.

Dr. Kiattiphum said that face masks are still required.

Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health said that the Covid-19 situation is projected to improve further by the end of May. Individuals would be able to resume almost all of their pre-pandemic activities.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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