Lifestyle changes crucial to preventing second outbreak in Thailand

The Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute’s director, Dr Apichart Vachiraphan.
The Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute’s director, Dr Apichart Vachiraphan.

BANGKOK-The chief of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute says Thailand won’t face a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak if everyone keeps on wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently, and exercising regularly for health; warning that regular drinkers and smokers may face a higher chance of death if infected.

Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Thailand’s specialized hospital for infectious diseases and the first hospital in the country to admit COVID-19 patients, today announced its outcomes for January – April 2020 operations.

The institute’s director Dr Apichart Vachiraphan said the hospital has treated a total of 14,327 patients during the period, with 5,062 patients fitting the Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for COVID-19.


The hospital has treated 214 confirmed COVID-19 patients, with 207 recoveries and 4 deaths. There are now only three active cases at the hospital.

The hospital’s data shows a surge in the number of patients in March, while the youngest confirmed patient with COVID-19 was 47 days old, and the oldest 83 years old.

60 percent of all patients are male. The majority of confirmed COVID-19 patients treated here have no symptoms — or flu-like symptoms, followed by mild pneumonia and medium pneumonia. Only a small number of patients go on to develop respiratory failure.

Dr Apichart said the general public must remain strict in observing personal precautionary measures to prevent a second wave of the outbreak, despite the easing of lockdown measures allowing work and businesses to resume.

Members of the general public are still advised to wear a face mask whenever going outside the home; to wash hands frequently; maintain 1-2 meters distance from other people, and exercise individually, such as by running.

As the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute has decreased, the hospital has sanitized patient wards and negative pressure chambers using UV light. It will be holding more training on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), how its worn and later removed, as well as workshops to prepare for any future developments in this disease.

Bamrasnaradura Institute’s deputy director Dr Weerawat Manosuthi said today that scenes of people crowding together to buy liquor after the lifting of the sales prohibition are of concern, as any crowding of people poses a high risk of another outbreak.

He said COVID-19 patients on average need 1-2 weeks of hospital treatment to recover. However, patients with underlying conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema, and coronary artery diseases caused by heavy drinking and smoking may have more severe symptoms and higher chance of death.

He asked the general public to refrain from risk-posing activities, including alcohol consumption and smoking.(NNT)