Thailand raises COVID alert to Level 4 as new cases soar

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Dr Thongchai said new COVID-19 cases were rising but most of them were asymptomatic because the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron variant was highly contagious but was not severer.

The Public Health Ministry announced its COVID-19 alert at Level 4 as new COVID-19 cases were soaring among people of all age ranges in all provinces.

Dr Thongchai Keeratihatayakorn, deputy permanent secretary for public health, said new COVID-19 cases were rising but most of them were asymptomatic because the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron variant was highly contagious but was not severer. However, if caseloads increased, the number of severely ill patients would go up accordingly, he said.

He asked people to help control COVID-19 by working from home and avoiding visits to risky areas. New COVID-19 clusters were happening in all kinds of activities in all areas of all regions where people partied in merit-making, birthday and ordination gatherings. The daily caseloads would peak in a few weeks. If everyone cooperated, the figures would drop, Dr Thongchai said.



Dr Jakkarat Pithayawong-anont, epidemiology director at the Department of Disease Control, said from Feb 13 to 19 there were 115,917 COVID-19 cases, 96.1% of whom were Thai. Most, or 54%, were infected in risky places including schools, markets, construction workers’ camps, factories and eateries. The rest contracted the disease from family members or high-risk contact people. Major outbreaks happened in the Northeast and some southern provinces such as Nakhon Si Thammarat, he said. (TNA)