Public Health Ministry says accelerated vaccinations and two-month lockdown measures can prevent Thailand from reaching 200 daily Covid-19 deaths.
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, explained that the ministry’s latest mathematical model shows that new daily cases will exceed 40,000 by mid-September without the strict measures currently in place.
Coronavirus-related deaths would exceed 500 a day without tight restrictions, he added.
On July 20, the government imposed lockdowns and curfews in the worst-hit provinces, including Bangkok.
The measures were scheduled to end on Monday, but authorities are considering extending them amid a case surge.
The department analyzed the trend in infections and fatalities based on data from one and two months of lockdowns.
A month of strict measures can reduce cases by 20%, but daily infections would exceed 30,000 by early October, the model showed.
Additionally, coronavirus-related fatalities would peak below 500 on October 26, Dr. Opas revealed to a group of assembled reporters.
But if the measures extend for two months, reducing infections by 20-25%, the daily case toll would be slightly above 20,000 in October and November. In this scenario, deaths would peak below 400 in mid-November.
On Friday, Thailand logged 17,345 new cases and 117 fatalities.
Dr. Opas said the numbers would improve significantly if the two-month lockdown is reinforced with stepped-up vaccinations for at-risk groups.
Risk groups, which the government inoculation campaign is now targeting, include the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions.
By speeding up vaccinations, new daily deaths would be over 100 and gradually decrease, Dr. Opas stated.
But he emphasized that public cooperation is the key.
“Please refrain from unnecessary activities and stay home as much as you can. Wear face masks. Observe social distancing,” he asked Thai residents.
Moreover, he recommended citizens take people aged 60 and over and those with chronic diseases to visit vaccination centers.
“This will help reduce the numbers of new cases and fatalities,” he went on to say.