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Maximum effort to keep daily Covid deaths under 200

Maximum effort to keep daily Covid deaths under 200

Two months of lockdowns and accelerated jab campaigns needed, according to health ministry analysis

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, elaborates on estimates about Covid-19 caseloads and fatalities at the Ministry of Public Health in Nonthaburi on Friday. (Screenshot)
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, elaborates on estimates about Covid-19 caseloads and fatalities at the Ministry of Public Health in Nonthaburi on Friday. (Screenshot)

The country can keep new daily Covid-19 fatalities from reaching 200 with accelerated vaccinations and two months of lockdown measures, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The ministry’s latest mathematical model shows that without the tight restrictions now in place, new daily Covid cases would exceed 40,000 by Sept 14 and fatalities would pass 500 a day by Sept 28, said Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

The current measures took effect in 13 hard-hit provinces including Bangkok on July 20 and are scheduled to end on Monday. Authorities are now considering extending the lockdowns.

The department’s analysis looked at the trend in infections and deaths based on one- and two-month lockdowns from July 20.

If one month of lockdown measures — people staying home, working from home and a ban on public gatherings — can reduce infections by 20%, new daily cases would still be over 30,000 in early October, the model shows. New fatalities would peak somewhere below 500 on Oct 26, Dr Opas said on Friday.

The country reported 17,345 new cases and 117 deaths on Friday.

If lockdown measures reduce infections by 20-25% but last two months, new daily cases would be above 20,000 in October and November and fatalities would peak below 400 in mid-November.

The numbers improve significantly if two months of restrictions are complemented by stepped-up vaccinations for elderly people, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions, which the government is now conducting. In such a case, new daily fatalities would be still be over 100 but would decline gradually, Dr Opas said.

“However, public cooperation is the key,” he said. “Please refrain from unnecessary activities and stay home as much as you can. Wear face masks. Observe social distancing.

“Please bring elderly people aged 60 years and over and those with the chronic diseases to vaccination centres. This will help reduce the numbers of new cases and fatalities.”

Reference