The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is making preparations to declare Covid-19 an endemic disease following the recent drop in daily infections and fatalities.
According to Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, Permanent Secretary for the Public Health Ministry, the Covid-19 situation in Bangkok has improved significantly due to vaccination rollout and measures such as home isolation and outpatient programs.
Most Bangkok residents are fully vaccinated, with around 60 percent having at least 1 booster dose. These figures suggested that Bangkok might be ready to shift its strategy to managing Covid-19 as an endemic disease.
The shift will prioritize management in high infection risk areas such as pubs, bars, public parks, and public transportation, allowing for a more gradual transition to endemic Covid management.National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th
Before Songkran, authorities expressed concern that the number of infections would exceed 100,000 daily cases after the holidays. The number of cases, however, was lower than expected, with daily fatality cases decreasing in recent days.
Multiple governments, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, have announced timelines to ease pandemic restrictions, normalize life with Covid-19, and revive their economies.
Thailand is pushing to downgrade from pandemic status within three months after having some coronavirus travel restrictions lifted recently.
Pre-arrival PCR testing for visitors to Thailand was removed last week in an effort to boost tourism. Experts have warned, though, that a spike of infections and public fear could prevent a smooth transition into an endemic.
Thailand’s Ministry of Health said earlier this month the coronavirus pandemic in the country would be labeled as an endemic disease by July, promoting a return to “normal life.”
Despite numerous plans to revive tourism in the region, there is still uncertainty regarding the future of travel. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing a surge in oil prices and inflation, which could negatively impact tourism numbers. The shortage of Russian travelers will also continue to dampen tourism rates for Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia’s Bali, frequent destinations for Russian visitors.