This would entail the relaxation of mask-wearing regulations, depending on the COVID-19 situation in each area.
Delivering his speech at the annual meeting of the Private Hospital Association in the past week, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha has expressed Thailand's goal to achieve endemic status in July 2022.
While it is still in the works, Thailand’s "timeframe to downgrade the epidemic is in line with advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO)," a separate report by The Nation Thailand has stated. However, Deputy Minister Sathit acknowledged that WHO currently has no timeframe in place for the transition to an endemic, and expressed concern in his speech over the possibility of new variants emerging, the report added.
Overall, Deputy Minister Sathit said if certain criteria are met, the ministry should proceed to declare COVID-19 an endemic disease on 1 July as planned. According to Bangkok Post, this would entail the relaxation of mask-wearing regulations, depending on the COVID-19 situation in each area.
- Increase investment in digital technology to combat COVID-19;
- Prepare interdisciplinary personnel to handle the next outbreak;
- Ensure at-risk groups can access treatment per their rights;
- Boost public self-reliance on medicine, test kits, and supplies;
- Take care of medical and infectious waste;
- Develop a strategy for data integration, and
- Research and publish role models and important lessons on dealing with the endemic.
For further information, the Ministry of Health will be meeting to discuss preparations for an endemic approach in a live broadcast on 11 May 2022.
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