Covid - It isn't history just yet

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Gaybutton
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Covid - It isn't history just yet

Post by Gaybutton »

I hope we're not looking at the verge of a "here we go again" with restrictions, lockdowns, closings, or whatever, but if it turns out that Covid is significantly on the rise despite all the vaccinations and precautions, I don't think anyone needs me to explain how Thailand is likely to react. My advice is continue wearing the face masks, use the hand disinfectants when they are available, and avoid crowds. I think most of us reading this have made it this far without contracting Covid. Do what you can to prevent it from happening now.

Covid has been on the rise again in Thailand. The way I pessimistically see it, the handwriting is on the wall . . .
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Govt warns Bangkok governor to curb activities to prevent Covid spread

Prayut concerned about situation after holiday

July 17, 2022

The Public Health Ministry will on Monday tell Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt to limit public activities to minimise a possible coronavirus resurgence.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health affairs, said on Sunday he will call for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to reduce the number of events drawing large crowds.

Dr Kiattiphum said figures showed government hospitals in the capital should brace for a swell of new Covid-19 patients.

About 2,000 people a day are now being treated in hospitals, more than half of them in Bangkok, he said. Worse, 42% of coronavirus inpatients in the capital are seriously ill or showing life-threatening symptoms, he continued.

Dr Kiattiphum said Governor Chadchart chairs the communicable disease committee in Bangkok, and thus has the authority to issue any health measures needed.

The public health secretary did not specify the events he considered highly likely to spread Covid-19.

The latest government manoeuvre is likely to be viewed as politicking, given its waning popularity, its perceived inability to address the Covid-19 pandemic and the landslide election of the former Pheu Thai heavyweight to lead the nation's capital.

Mr Chadchart has initiated several programmes to restore life to Bangkok, including open-air movies and concerts in public parks.

Dr Kiattiphum's position reflects growing worries about a possible spike as doctors and health personnel have warned of the danger of two new subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, due to their high transmission.

Although the country has low fatality numbers - rising from the 17 reported on July 4 to 18 reported on Saturday - the number of people seriously ill has risen.

The number of patients in serious condition increased from 677 to 785 and those relying on ventilators rose from 299 to 352 during the same period, the ministry's latest figures released on Sunday showed.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was concerned about the possibility of the coronavirus spike and urged people returning from family visits and vacations during the five-day holiday to monitor their health, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Sunday.

People returning from vacation who develop symptoms resembling those of Covid-19 should conduct an antigen test before they return to their workplaces, the spokesman said.

They should stay at home and avoid public places if they test positive, he added.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... vid-spread
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Health Ministry, Bangkok governor to hold emergency Covid talks

by The Nation

July 17, 2022

The Public Health Ministry has called an urgent meeting with Bangkok’s governor on Monday to prepare measures for a new wave of Covid-19 in the city.

Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said Bangkok hospitals were now admitting more than 1,000 new Covid patients per day, so preparations for a possible new wave were necessary.

Kiattiphum said Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt would join Monday’s meeting of the public health emergency operations committee. Chadchart chairs Bangkok’s communicable disease control committee and his cooperation would be sought to issue measures to control the surge of new Covid cases, Kiattiphum said.

He warned that Bangkok was at heightened risk from Covid surges because it had a large population who travelled a lot and were socially active.

As a result, City Hall should curb risky activities while hospitals in the capital must prepare for an influx of new Covid patients, he said.

About 2,000 Covid cases were being admitted to hospitals nationwide every day, but more than half of these were in Bangkok, Kiattiphum said. The new patients were categorised as “yellow” or “red” cases (moderate or severe symptoms).

Covid patients currently occupy only 13 per cent of hospital beds nationwide, but that rate has risen to 42 per cent in Bangkok.

“So, we need to make preparations by managing hospital beds,” Kiattiphum said.

The BMA would coordinate Covid preparations at all Bangkok health facilities, including private hospitals.

“The Public Health Ministry will provide full support for the preparations,” Kiattiphum said.

He also urged people to protect themselves by getting a booster shot every four months.

On Sunday, the Public Health Ministry reported that Thailand recorded 2,028 new Covid-19 infections and 18 fatalities over the previous 24 hours.

The Public Health Ministry estimates the caseload will rise to 30,000 per day in September, driven by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40017840
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Take a test if you have these BA.4/5 symptoms, says virologist

by The Nation

July 17, 2022

A leading virologist at Chulalongkorn University has urged people to take a rapid antigen test immediately if they develop mild respiratory symptoms.

Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief of the university’s Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology, said prompt testing using ATK kits could minimise the spread of new Covid-19 Omicron subvariants.

Posting on Facebook, Dr Yong said self-testing was necessary because the new subvariants usually cause only mild or no symptoms.

He said people with a sore throat, dry cough, hoarse voice, runny nose or nasal congestion should take an ATK test immediately.

“If you test positive, you will get treatment in time and reduce the spread. You don’t have to wait until you develop breathing problems,” Yong said.

He said few people develop high fever or headaches after getting the new Covid strains, so they should monitor for mild symptoms and take an ATK test accordingly.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron are driving a new wave of infections in Thailand, with health authorities forecasting the caseload will rise to 30,000 per day by September.

On Sunday, Thailand recorded 2,028 new cases and 18 fatalities over the previous 24 hours.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40017837

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

Post by Trongpai »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 5:22 am
I think most of us reading this have made it this far without contracting Covid. Do what you can to prevent it from happening now.
Really? Around 1/3 of my friends and acquaintances in Bangkok and Pattaya have had breakthrough COVID including me. I had AZx2 and a Pfizer booster and still had what I assume was Omicron back in February. I did not post about it as who wants to hear about my misery and what value is it to board members. It was a mild case like a head cold with an elevated temperature. Sick for 3 or 4 days and negative on day 5. I did not seek medical care. I have had common colds that were a lot worse and lasted longer. It was all in my nose, throat and lungs were not infected.

I just got my second booster, Moderna.

My experience with COVID is similar to my friends that had COVID with two exceptions. One was hospitalized but only after one dose of AZ. The other was an anti-vac person and he was very sick for 2 months but not hospitalized but needed medical care.

The anti-vac'stir still has long COVID but I did not get into a discussion about his beliefs that all vaccines are bad no more than I engage Trumpsters in any conversation.

No one I know had a clue where or from whom that acquired COVID with one exception. I had been taking the usual precautions and was not near anyone infected that I know of. My BF was out of town when I tested positive and I told him I was going into self isolation. I told him to stay away and go to a hotel. He thought it better to stay with a friend and they had other friends over and one of them infected everyone who had not yet had COVID. Same deal with the BF also vaccinated and boosted. All in the nose and lasting for 5 days, very mild.

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Trongpai wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:31 pm
Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 5:22 am
I think most of us reading this have made it this far without contracting Covid. Do what you can to prevent it from happening now.
Really?
Ok, maybe I should have worded it differently I'm very sorry you got Covid. Until this post I had no idea. I'm glad it was a mild case and now you are ok.

Unfortunately the point is even with the vaccines and preventive measures, people can get Covid anyway and should still be taking all the precautions. I for sure think people who have become complacent about it are making a big mistake - and I hope they don't have to find that out the hard way.

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

Post by Jun »

Considering the probabilities, if you're under 55 and catching covid, then it's less likely to kill you than flu. Over 55, slightly more likely. I don't recall endless discussions about the risk of death from flu.

Covid is like shark bites. People overweight the importance due to "recency bias". Of course, it should not be dismissed. However, most of us are going to die from something else.

[Note: I can't find the graph I was looking for, so might have the cut off age slightly wrong]

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

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Jun wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 4:00 pm
Considering the probabilities, if you're under 55 and catching covid, then it's less likely to kill you than flu. Over 55, slightly more likely. I don't recall endless discussions about the risk of death from flu.
What are you trying to say? Are you saying you think it isn't worth bothering with the precautions and people might as well be complacent about it?

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 4:05 pm
What are you trying to say? Are you saying you think it isn't worth bothering with the precautions and people might as well be complacent about it?
I suggest comparing precautions with those taken for other causes of death, just to make sure things are in proportion.

The classic example would be all the Thais going around wearing masks, including youngsters who have almost zero chance of dying from covid. Meanwhile, the same people don't wear helmets on motorcycles, which is a major cause of death.

Or people overeating & increasing their risk of heart disease, diabetes etc.

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

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Jun wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 5:48 pm
I suggest comparing precautions with those taken for other causes of death, just to make sure things are in proportion.
Be that as it may, I intend to take all the proper precautions. I'm not interested in the statistics about how sick I might get from Covid or what else is likely to kill me. I'm only interested in doing what I can to prevent getting Covid at all.

If wearing the face mask, sanitizing my hands, and avoiding crowds will help, I don't see that as too big a price to pay. So I'll be wearing the face mask, disinfecting my hands, and avoiding crowds.

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Re: Covid - It isn't history just yet

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City braces for sixth wave with big spike in infections picked

'Tens of thousands' of new daily cases likely by August peak

by Pratch Rujivanarom

July 25, 2022

Bangkok is bracing for a sixth wave of Covid-19, as Covid cases in the capital bounce back to over 10,000 new cases per day, threatening the city's public health system.

As Thailand gradually recovers from lockdown measures, the spread of the newly emerged BA.5 Omicron subvariant has yet again put Bangkok back on high alert for another Covid-19 outbreak.

While the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) says it is ready to cope with another wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, Bangkok could be faced with tens of thousands Covid patients by the time this outbreak peaks in late August.

BA.5 subvariant sparks fears

Since the number of new Covid infections has been steadily rising during recent weeks, especially in Bangkok where half the nationwide Covid cases are reported, Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, said this is the sign of another approaching wave of Covid-19 outbreak.

Dr Yong said the change of the prevalent Covid strain from the BA.2 Omicron subvariant to the BA.5 subvariant is behind the recent surge.

"As the BA.5 subvariant has the ability to elude protection from the virus, produced after vaccinations and infections, it is by far the most infectious Covid strain, because it can infect those who are already vaccinated or previously recovered from a Covid infection," he said.

"Thailand will face a sixth wave of outbreak, in which we will see a higher infection rate than previous waves."

The BA.5 subvariant was first identified early this January in South Africa. Since then, it has spread quickly and become the main Covid variant in many countries throughout the world and has been noticed in Thailand since April.

It now makes up about 26.1% of the tested samples, according to the genomic examination of Covid cases in Thailand during the past month by the Center for Medical Genomics of Mahidol University. Most BA.5 subvariant samples were from the Bangkok Metropolitan area.

As Covid infections continue to rise, Dr Yong estimated tens of thousands of new infections are likely per day by the end of August.

"Since this round of Covid-19 epidemic has occurred right after the resumption of on-site teaching at public schools nationwide for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, the virus will spread easily among students in schools. It can then further spread to their family members and infect large numbers of people," he said.

Meanwhile, BMA figures on Covid infections in Bangkok during the past week show there are about 2,000–3,000 new Covid cases via RT-PCR test a day, while around 5,000–6,000 more cases were identified by ATK test.

Even though the Ministry of Public Health only records around 2,000 cases of new Covid-19 infections per day, because the BA.5 Omicron subvariant generally causes mild sickness among healthy people, a large number of infected people who have few symptoms are not reported.

"However, this strain can still cause severe symptoms among vulnerable groups, so we need to make sure they receive a booster vaccine and can access medication once infected," he added.

City faces up to challenge

In the wake of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant outbreak in the capital, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he had ordered four initial measures to cope with the surge of Covid-19 infections.

They comprise adding an extra working day for all 69 Public Health Centers under the BMA on Saturdays, opening walk-in vaccination booths at the centres every Friday and Saturday, proactive Covid-19 screening at schools, and a proactive vaccination campaign targeting vulnerable groups.

"Even though the BMA is focussed on primary care and health promotion, in terms of advanced medical care, the BMA has 11 hospitals under its wing, comprising 11% of overall hospital bed capacity in Bangkok," Mr Chadchart said.

"BMA is not the sole administrator of Bangkok's public health system. So we have to work closely with other stakeholders such as the Public Health Ministry, medical schools, and military and police, all of whom have hospitals of their own as part of the city's public health system."

He also urged the people to keep up their guard and strictly follow Covid-19 prevention measures, including wearing facemasks in public areas.

Dr Wantanee Wattana, deputy city clerk of the BMA, said the BMA is working with the ministry and Government Pharmaceutical Organization to prepare medical stockpiles for Covid patients and provide a support system for the patients with mild symptoms in home isolation.

Even though Bangkok still has spare hospital beds available for Covid in-patients, the number of new Covid patients requiring hospital treatment in Bangkok has grown to approximately 1,000 a day.

The BMA has designated the Erawan Emergency Medical Service Center to be a focal point for patient transfers between hospitals and ensure proper hospital bed management.

Meanwhile, Natjiraporn Dang-iad, vice-president of Sirindhorn Hospital, a hospital under the BMA's administration in Prawet district, said Covid patients seeking medical care have increased, though most have very mild symptoms and only 5% need to be admitted.

Ms Natjiraporn said the hospital still has the capacity to receive more Covid patients, though many hospital staff are infected with Covid-19 as well, which puts a squeeze on personnel.

"We had insufficient staff to begin with, so when many of our staff get sick, we don't have enough staff to take of patients. This is why we would like to ask people to take Covid-19 prevention measures seriously to prevent transmission to others," she said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... ons-picked

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