The zoning will be continued for the next 14 days.

Lockdown remains in place, disease control measures stepped up

The CCSA has decided to maintain the lockdown measure in 29 “Dark Red” provinces including Bangkok, whereas disease control measures will be stepped up to suppress the disease

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has held a meeting today and decided to extend the current lockdown in the Dark Red zone, which includes Bangkok and 28 other provinces until the end of this month in a bid to try to suppress the disease, which continues to cause the infection cases to soar in the country.

The CCSA has imposed the current lockdown over these provinces since August 3. As the 14-day deadline is approaching, it, therefore, reviewed the measure and decided at the meeting as such. The extended lockdown will start from Wednesday onwards. (Read: Lockdown extended for another 14 days, 16 more provinces included)

According to the CCSA’s spokesperson, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the CCSA has been informed about the projections presented to it by the Public Health Ministry.

According to the presentation by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Kiattibhoom Vorachit, if the lockdown continues for another two weeks, with 20% effectiveness in cutting down the infection rate, the number of new daily infection cases could be suppressed to around 20,000+ before climbing up again as high as 50,000 in the middle of October (The number of daily deaths could be as high as 600).

But the medical experts hoped to see the lockdown with 25% effectiveness in cutting down the infection rate plus efficient vaccination among the target groups. This, they projected, could help suppress the number of daily infection cases below 20,000 by the end of September and the number of daily deaths below 200.

But if there was no lockdown in place at all, the country would see the number of daily infection cases over 60,000 a day and the number of daily deaths over 800, according to Dr. Taweesin.

“Thai Covid Pass”

Besides the projections, the CCSA was also presented with measures to address the situation and endorsed them. Those include ATK testing in communities in Bangkok and peripheries.

In the Dark Red zone, workers will be required to get tested every week. The measure will also be enforced in public areas like wholesale markets. While companies may be required to come up with the so-called Company Isolation for their Covid-19 infected workers, factories with over 100 workers will have to implement a full Bubble and Seal measure.

The new measure of “Thai Covid Pass”, under which access to public areas will be eligible to only vaccinated persons, was also proposed and endorsed along with the adjusted vaccination plan, under which the target groups of 608, or people aged 60 and over and those with underlying diseases plus pregnant women, has been reset as a priority; 80% of them targeted in Bangkok, 70% in 12 Dark Red provinces, and at least 50% in other zones.

The CCSA has also encouraged “universal prevention” among people, easy access to Covid-19 testing, and other supportive medical care systems. Meanwhile, it has also endorsed the limited opening of banks and other financial services in shopping malls in the Dark Red zone. The rest of the measures in each zone will remain the same until the end of this month.

Under the current lockdown measure in the Dark Red zone, people are allowed to leave home only for necessary stuff and businesses such as food or medicines or performing duty. Full work from home is at the same time enforced for workplaces of both private and public entities. The curfew will also remain in place. (Read: Lockdown to be in full force in Dark Red zone tomorrow onwards)

The CCSA has also endorsed an additional vaccine procurement plan for this month and next month. Over 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are subject for procurement from vaccine developers or producers which could deliver them the fastest. The prospective vaccines include 10 million doses of Pfizer, 12 million doses of China’s Sinovac, and 10 million more doses from “other vaccines”. It is not clear whether it has considered the plan to impose limits on exports of vaccines produced in the country. So far, only AstraZeneca vaccines are produced here.

As of today, 23.59 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to the citizens. 17.99 million are the first shot or 25% of the government’s target, and 5.1 million more are two shots or 7.1% of the target. The government’s target set for this year is 100 million doses. It has five months left to accomplish the task.

Credit: PRD