The local COVID-19 situation raises concerns as health authorities expect new cases will be rising in the next 10 weeks.
Dr Chakkarat Pittayawonganon, director of the epidemiology division at the Department of Disease Control, said COVID-19 patients with lung inflammation rose in number in the past week while the number of patients admitted to hospital was stable.
New fatalities resulting from COVID-19 were mostly senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses and they were unvaccinated, he said.
The director also said that the occupancy of hospital beds for COVID-19 cases increased in major provinces including Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Chonburi but the health system was still able to cope.
He warned that statistics showed that new COVID-19 cases would be increasing in 10 weeks from now especially in Bangkok, major provinces and three southern border provinces. But the situation would not be as severe as what happened during the start of Omicron outbreaks. He urged people to seriously protect themselves from infection and obtain vaccine booster shots.
Meanwhile, Dr Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, said that of 948 sampled COVID-19 cases, 489 or 50% had either BA.4 or BA.5 subvariant, compared with only 6% found two weeks ago.
The infections of both subvariants increased obviously and in the near future they would become dominant subvariants. Most infections were in Bangkok, he said.
Doctors have not concluded that BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants cause severer illnesses than previously discovered subvariants. Officials concerned needed information from more COVID-19 cases before drawing a conclusion, Dr Supakit said. (TNA)