Seriously Ill Patients Number Expected To Rise During Long Holiday

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) revealed that the number of severely ill Covid-19 patients has increased and is expected to rise further during the long holidays starting this week.

On Monday, Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawonganon, the DDC’s epidemiology director, said the number of Covid-19 cases with lung inflammation had gradually increased from 638 logged on June 28 to 768 on Sunday. Two weeks ago, 290 severely ill patients were dependent on ventilators, but the number rose to 349 as of Monday.

According to Dr. Chakkarat, the surge in severely ill patients is related to the rising case toll.

The health official explained that the infection spike has been reported only in certain provinces but is expected to spread to other areas later.

“New infections are increasing in Greater Bangkok and major tourism provinces… Several periods of long holidays this month may spread the infections faster,” he said, adding that the growing number of severely ill patients with lung inflammation may impact bed and medicine supplies needed for treatment.

Dr. Chakkarat said that people could help control the situation by simply taking precautions to protect themselves from the disease.

However, the Public Health Ministry has decided to keep the Covid-19 alert at Level 2 to benefit tourism, especially on long holidays, and stimulate the economy. Thailand’s health system can still handle coronavirus infections, he insisted.

“Despite the increase, the health system can still cope… Our peak of patients with lung inflammation used to be thousands a day during the outbreak of the Delta variant,” Dr. Chakkarat stated.

The DDC’s epidemiology director also said the number of new deaths had been stable over the past two weeks, with 18 reported on average.

The latest figures showed the number of cases admitted to hospitals rose from 2,082 daily, reported two weeks ago, to 2,212 on average as of Monday.

Health officials said Thailand had logged 1,811 new cases admitted to hospitals and 24 deaths yesterday.

Dr. Chakkarat’s comments came as the Department of Medical Sciences said that the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 were more severe and more resistant to antibodies than other coronavirus strains.

The BA.5 strain was also found to be more transmissible than the BA.4 strain, the department’s director-general said.