Thailand’s Public Health Ministry introduces four-month plan to downgrade Covid-19 to an ‘endemic’ disease

Bangkok –

The Ministry of Public Health unveiled a four-month plan to shift the Covid-19 pandemic to ‘endemic’ by July 1st, and planned to set up a subcommittee to draft preventive measures.

Minister Anutin Charnviralkul told the Associated Press yesterday, March 9th, after the meeting of the National Communicable Disease Committee that the committee had agreed upon four proposals. One of them include the principle of management and preventive measures to support the shift of the Covid-19 to endemic disease.

The Minister said that the relevant departments had been notified to manage measures in various aspects, including traveling measures, domestic surveillance, disease investigations, vaccine management, disease prevention and control measures. He also stressed that although Covid-19 would be endemic, the public must continue to follow public health preventive measures.

When being asked if the Emergency Decree would be cancelled once Covid-19 became endemic, Anutin urged the public not to be concerned about the decree as it was not implemented to suppress any political protest but only to help manage the pandemic situation. He did not, however, directly answer the question.

PHOTO: Prachachat

Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiatipoom Wongrachit revealed the ministry’s four-month action plan to move Covid-19 towards an endemic approach called “3 plus 1” (4 stages) as follows:

Phase 1: Combat (March 12th – Early April) The number of daily infections must be under control and not to be higher than the current number. Various measures would be implemented to reduce the outbreak and severity. The mandatory quarantine period would also reduced.

Phase 2: Plateau (April – May) It was the period to maintain the stable level of daily infections until it gradually decreased.

Phase 3: Declining (Late May – June 30th). The number of infections must be reduced to 1,000 to 2,000 cases and;

Phase 4 (Plus 1): Post Pandemic (July 2022 onwards). The Covid-19 pandemic disease would be shifted from the pandemic to an endemic disease.


“All action plans would need to be implemented within four months under a surveillance of a subcommittee of disease control. About nine additional regulations also needed to be amended to support the change, mentioning the social adjustment, guidelines, and standards which we had to wait for further details,” Dr. Kiatpoom said.

Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, Director General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), added that in order to approach endemic, the mortality rate must not exceed 1 in a 1,000 cases or 0.1 percent. But, now we were at 0.19-0.2 percent, so it had not yet reached the target. The majority of deaths were risk group 608 (elderly people/ patients with health conditions/ pregnant women) which must be reduced to 0.1% or half.


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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.