Health authorities have been reporting an increase in new COVID-19 cases, in what they describe as an expected small wave. Thailand’s top virologist said the latest wave is expected to last until February 2023.
The number of new COVID cases in Thailand has been seeing a steady climb, although the disease is no longer categorized by health authorities as a dangerous communicable disease.
According to official reports, COVID hospitalizations during the week of November 6th-12th numbered 3,166, or 452 daily cases on average. This was higher than the previous week’s 2,759 cases.
The number of COVID fatalities for the previous week stood at 42 cases, averaging six per day.
Dr Yong Poovorawan, Head of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, said in a Facebook post that the rise in cases is to be expected as COVID becomes endemic and seasonal.
The severity of the disease is considerably lower due to Thailand having mostly achieved herd immunity as a result of vaccinations and natural infections. According to Dr Yong, treatment options have also significantly improved, with effective drugs such as Molnupiravir, Paxlovid and Remdesivir now widely available.
On the subject of vaccination, Dr Yong recommends that all Thais receive at least three COVID vaccine doses, regardless of brand. Those who received their last jab over six months ago should meanwhile get an additional booster dose, as the immunity wanes with time. (NNT)