Thailand will follow other countries and declare COVID-19 an endemic disease mid-year.
COVID-19 will be removed from pandemic status in July, over two hard years since it began, “If everything goes according to plan,” the National Communicable Disease Committee announced yesterday.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that to meet the goal, several measures will be implemented such as vaccination management, medical treatment for COVID-19 patients, screening and monitoring measures, and travel restrictions.
Opas Karnkawinpong, director of the department of disease control, said related deaths must not exceed one in 1,000 cases or 0.1%. At present, the rate is still above the threshold at 0.19%-0.2%, with most fatalities involving the elderly or people with underlying diseases.
Before entering the endemic phase, health officials will implement a four-month plan in four phases, according to another health official, Kiattiphum Vongrachit.
From now until April, the focus will be on suppressing COVID-19 infections and patients with severe cases. From April until May, COVID-19 cases in Thailand are expected to decline gradually.
From late May until June, new daily cases must be capped at only 1,000 to 2,000. And finally, from July onward, Thailand will declare COVID-19 as endemic.