New Year celebrations can be held as normal despite the rise in Covid-19 infections a senior medical official confirmed on Wednesday, saying the situation is controllable.
Health permanent secretary Opas Karnkawinpong gave the assurance after a meeting of the National Disease Control Committee.
He said that although the number of Covid-19 infections was again on the rise, authorities could control it. Booster shots were 5-10 times above October and November levels. People were mostly getting their third or fourth shots.
He advised people whose last vaccination was longer than four months ago to get a booster shot. So far, about 153 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered and people already had long-acting antibodies, he said.
The arrival of more than 10 million tourists this year would not be cause for any change. New Year celebrations could be held as normal, but caution should be exercised at high-risk activities and venues.
There would be a close watch kept on the high-risk “608’’ group, Dr Opas said.
This group comprises people aged 60 years or more, those with underlying health issues, and pregnant women.
The National Disease Control Committee also approved polio surveillance, because there were outbreaks of the disease in three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mozambique.
It had not been found in Thailand for 20 years, Dr Opas said. However, it was found that polio had mutated from vaccines in 22 countries and was reported in four people in Indonesia, he said.
The committee ordered a survey of vaccination rates in risk areas of Thailand – Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts in Songkhla. It also resolved to establish a national committee on the eradication of polio, measles and rubella, Dr Opas said.