Thai health officials opposed to over-use of RT-PCR and ATK tests in low-risk and symptomless people

Bangkok, Thailand-

  Health officials in Thailand are opposed to the over-use of RT-PCR and ATK tests with people who have no symptoms are at low risk to Covid-19, they announced this morning, March 26th, 2022.

The Deputy Chief of the Department of Medical Science Dr. Banlang Uppapong suggested using RT-PCR and ATK tests only on people who have suspected symptoms of Covid-19 or who have been exposed to confirmed patients or traveled to places with high infection rate within 14 days. However, he suggested not to use RT-PCR and ATK tests on symptomless, or low-risk people.

This appeared to include proposals and even provincial rules in areas like Chonburi where, technically, mandates are currently in place requiring all customers, regardless of symptoms, age, or vaccination status, to enter “restaurants” (converted bars) selling alcohol to take a test before entry. The mandate has been enforced inconsistently, notes TPN media, and been very unpopular with most customers with a recent unscientific TPN poll on our social media forums showing 97% of customers were opposed to this measure.

This aligned with Dr. Tawee Chotiphitayasunon, Advisor to the Department of Disease Control, who expressed concern about “false positive” results caused by the arbitrary use of the ATK test on symptomless patients. The official also raised the importance of vaccination and wearing a facial mask as more than 70-80 percent of the patients infected with the Omicron variant are asymptomatic.

In addition, the officials placed importance on a booster dose (third and fourth), especially in the elderly and vulnerable but still did not see the need for a fifth dose at this time.


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Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than three years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.