The COVID-19 threat will be downgraded

BANGKOK: The National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) decided to downgrade COVID-19 from “dangerous communicable disease” to “communicable disease under surveillance” from October as part of the country’s plan to enter an endemic period normal.

A boy waits for his turn to receive a COVID-19 shot at Central Westgate mall in Nonthaburi on August 4, 2022. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

The resolution was announced yesterday (August 8) by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who chaired the NCDC meeting, reports the Bangkok Post.

COVID-19 was declared a dangerous communicable disease in late February 2020 by the NCDC, which allowed health authorities to respond more quickly in trying to contain outbreaks.

Anutin said health authorities were now able to bring COVID-19 under control despite its spread, adding that the severity of the disease had also been mitigated.

“That is why the NCDC has decided to downgrade COVID-19 disease from a low level of concern from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance effective October 1,” Anutin said.

“We have never faced a shortage of medicine, while many other people have learned to better understand how to live with the disease,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, Director General of the Department of Disease Control, said that by designating COVID-19 as a communicable disease under surveillance, health authorities will no longer have the power to force patients or suspected persons to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dr. Opas has consistently urged the public to adhere to universal health measures, such as full vaccination, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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