Coronavirus

Ministry moves to further ease Covid control including face mask rule

 

THE PUBLIC Health Ministry will be tabling further relaxation of Covid control in stages to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive committee meeting on Friday (Mar. 18) leading to the public to eventually not having to wear face mask in open areas, Amarin TV said today (Mar. 16).

Dr. Kiatpoom Wongrachit, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said another key proposal is to ease the Test & Go entry procedure which if approved travellers would no longer have to undergo a PCR test 72 hours before their journey only having to get one done upon arrival and then themselves recheck by ATK on the fifth day.

It will also be proposed that traveller’s health insurance be reduced from $50,000 to $10,000 because average medical care cost per patient has dropped from 1 million baht to only 2,000 baht.

Dr. Kiatpoom added that CCSA would also be told that the plan to shift Covid from a pandemic to endemic status would require adjustment of around 10 social and legal measures that have been issued with a key example being switching from using the emergency decree to using Communicable Disease Act.

However adjustment would have to be made in steps, during the next four months a three plus one plan will be implemented leading to the safer post-pandemic stage. Where  endemicization is concerned, this depends on the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring that the virus is no longer mutating strongly.

However these steps do not mean that after four months people can discard face masks with goals to be set such as those sick having to wear them. However the rule would then be relaxed allowing people to not wear face masks in open spaces such as parks but doing so when gathering such at stadiums or concerts.

The Covid tally this morning was 23,945 cases and 70 deaths, adding up to a cumulative confirmed total of 3,250,642 since the start of the pandemic.

Another 24,059 people tested positive by ATK but this total was not added to the daily count.

An additional 23,339 patients were cured taking total recoveries since the start of the pandemic to 3,004,752 while 221,572 are still undergoing treatment.

Today’s 70 fatalities raised the death toll to 23,918.

Altogether 126,263,611 doses of vaccines have been administered.

CAPTIONS:

Top: Women and children wearing face masks. Photo: Thaihealth.or.th

Home Page: People shopping at a market wearing face masks. Photo: NNT


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