Plant based vaccines for Covid-19 by Chulalongkorn U. and Baiya Phytopharm give hopes to the country as they will enter a clinical trial next month. Credit: Public Health Ministry

Covid-19 projections show infections up from what earlier projected

The government will decide tomorrow whether or not to extend the current lockdown to try to curb the increase of infection cases

The latest projections presented by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday show that infection cases and deaths could increase another 10,000 and 100 a day from what earlier projected if the lockdown measure still yields the effectiveness in cutting the infection rate by 20% next month.

Late last month, the Public Health Ministry’s Disease Control Department had come up with the projections which showed that the country could see infection cases climbing to their peak around mid-October at 35,000 a day and deaths over 400 if under lockdown for one month with an effective reduction of the infection rate by 20 or 25%. The numbers could go down further to 25,000 and 300 if the country was under lockdown for two months with the same effectiveness rate.

However, after two weeks passed and the DDC has adjusted its projections, the results show a jump in the numbers as such and the shortened periods for their peaks.

Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the CCSA’s spokesperson, who presented the results, said the country could see the number of infection cases up to 45,000 and about 500 deaths a day within next month (September) if there was lockdown with effectiveness in cutting the infection rate by 20%.

Credit: DDC

These numbers, he said, were quite high. And if there were no lockdowns at all, the numbers would jump far higher; to 60,000-70,000 for daily infection cases, and 800 deaths respectively, the CCSA’s spokesperson added.

The desirable scenario is the case under which the lockdown measure yields 20 to 25% effectiveness in cutting down the infection rate for two months, alongside effective vaccination. He said that the country could then have a chance to see the number of daily infection cases around 20,000 with fewer than 200 deaths per day.

Currently, the number of daily infection cases is in line with what projected, while the number of deaths has reflected a little more positive trend, being downward to the desirable scenario, he said.

The government will meet and decide on the measure tomorrow when it meets its deadline for review after 14 days being in effect, he said.

(Read: Lockdown extended for another 14 days, 16 more provinces included)

According to the WHO Thailand’s analysis released on Friday, the country over the last week witnessed over 20,000 infection cases a day on average (20,481), an 11% increase from the average of over 18,000 (18,425) the week before.

The organization said daily infection cases in the country have continued to increase daily, and continue to at more than three times the daily count of one month ago. For the capital of Bangkok, its daily cases over the last week have also been increasing, with the proportion of cases increasing to nearly 22% (21.7%) of all cases.

The number of new deaths over the past week is also a 17% increase, or 183 a day on average, from 157 a day on average reported the week before. While the daily count of deaths has steadily increased, the rate of increase in deaths has been slowing down over the past few weeks; 31%, 27%, and 17%, the organization noted.

Meanwhile, the week has seen a gradual reduction in active cases because more people are recovering and being sent home on average. However, due to high numbers of severe cases and those relying on ventilators, healthcare facilities will continue to see a very high burden of severely unwell cases in the coming weeks, and that the number of deaths a day will remain high, WHO Thailand further noted.

Vaccination over the past week, on the other hand, is 475,302 a day on average, a 40% increase over the average of 338,625 a day the week before.

As reported on Friday, over 17 million people have received a first dose, representing 33.8% of the government’s target (70% of the population), and nearly 5 million more (4.8 million) have received a second dose and have completed vaccination, representing 9.6% of the target, according to WHO Thailand.