Thailand goes ‘past Phase 2,’ health workers among 107 new COVID-19 cases

Taweesilp Wissanuyothin of the Disease Control Department speaks at a Wednesday media briefing streamed online.
Taweesilp Wissanuyothin of the Disease Control Department speaks at a Wednesday media briefing streamed online.

Public health officials introduced a website for members of the public to evaluate their condition without adding to the strain on Thailand’s hospitals after at least two health workers were among 107 new COVID-19 cases reported today.

Today’s new cases raised total infections to 934 since January. They included two medical staff members, four more people who visited a boxing stadium, and six people who had recently traveled (four foreign nationals and two Thais), according to Taweesilp Wissanuyothin of the Disease Control Department. 

One of the two medical personnel, Taweesilp said, was infected by her husband after he visited the army-owned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, where more than 100 were infected earlier this month. 

“Please do not cover up the information,” Taweesilp said. Some medical personnel have reportedly taken ill due to patients not being forthcoming and honest.

Asked by a reporter whether Thailand was in Phrase 3 already, Taweesilp said the whole situation has gone “past Phase 2” but whether Phrase 3 should be announced, the department must meet and deliberate in the future.

Maintaining a positive image has been a competing priority with releasing quality information, and officials have been reluctant to declare the kingdom has entered so-called Phase 3, when transmission occurs freely within a community, despite ample evidence it has.

Health officials also introduced a newly launched website developed alongside Rajavithi Hospital that allows people to do a self-assessment by answering questions about their condition prior to visiting a hospital.

An English version is also available. Questions relate to travel history, symptoms, whether one works in close contact with travelers and whether one has been exposed to a COVID-19 patient. 

Of the 934 cases, 860 remain hospitalized, four in critical condition. Seventy patients have been discharged, and four deaths reported.

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