“The aim is to increase the number of first jabs to 43 million and second jabs to 26 million by the end of October, or 61 per cent and 37 per cent of the population respectively,” said Public Health permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit. “By the end of November, we aim to boost these numbers to 75 and 55 per cent, and to 85 and 70 per cent by yearend, which is the global standard for developing countries.
“If the vaccination rate continues as planned, by January 1 the Covid-19 situation in Thailand will have greatly improved and people will be able to resume their daily activities under the new normal,” he added. “By mid-2022, the Covid-19 crisis in Thailand should be largely subdued after more than two years of spreading.
“With more businesses and public venues being allowed to open, citizens need to continue following disease control measures or infection rates may rise again,” he warned.
“If people strictly observe Covid-19 control measures as they did during the lockdown period, we will see a gradual drop in daily cases to less than 10,000 and less than 5,000 in following months.”
Separately, Dr Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Department of Disease Control's emergency disease and health hazards control division, said that so far only 10 per cent of people who have received free antigen test kits (ATK) have submitted their test results.
“Use the ATK even if the infection rate in your community has dropped as people infected with Covid-19 may be asymptomatic and may be unknowingly spreading the virus to others,” he said. “The ministry’s proactive testing campaigns usually find clusters of infection in crowded areas such as markets and funerals, where most participants say they don’t feel sick, but later test positive.
“Besides, the ATKs have an expiration date and could provide an inaccurate result if left unused for a long time. Therefore you should use the ATK and submit the result right away,” he added.