Thailand health ministry to further downgrade COVID-19, reduce days for treatment
BANGKOK — The Public Health Ministry of Thailand will ask the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to downgrade the status of the disease at its next meeting expected on Friday, the minister said on Tuesday.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said when the CCSA meets, it would be informed of the decision of the National Communicable Disease Committee to downgrade Covid’s status from a “dangerous communicable disease” to a “communicable disease under surveillance”.
Anutin said the ministry wants to hear the CCSA’s opinion on the decision.
He said although the government had returned the authority to the ministry to lead operations on controlling Covid, the ministry still wanted to coordinate with the CCSA and other government agencies for the operations.
Anutin was not clear on the status of the CCSA once Covid is downgraded to a “communicable disease under surveillance”.
“Let’s put it this way. All persons on the CCSA came together to help with the work. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took it upon himself to command the CCSA so that all government agencies can work together,” Anutin said.
“When it’s clear that everything has returned to normalcy and when the ministry is certain that it no longer needs the authority of other government agencies, the prime minister would make a decision based on the situation.”
Meanwhile, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrachit, permanent secretary for Public Health, said the meeting of the Public Health and Medical Emergency Operation Center on Monday was informed of the National Communicable Disease Committee’s decision to downgrade Covid’s status.
Kiattiphum said the ministry would have to adjust its operation plan accordingly that will be enforced until December.
As part of the new operation plan, the ministry will ensure that Covid medicine will be accessible from drug stores but require prescription by doctors.
Kiattiphum said the committee had also decided to change the treatment and surveillance period of Covid patients from seven days for treatment and three days for surveillance to five days for treatment and five days for surveillance.
The permanent secretary said the antiviral Molnupiravir drug will be the main medicine for Covid treatment and the ministry is certain the drug would be adequate.
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