Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters today, April 27th, that the government may revoke the ‘Thailand Pass’ system and self-administered ATK testing and standardize Covid-19 as an endemic disease nationwide after the pandemic situation eases.
The Minister stated that the authorities had closely monitored the general Covid-19 situation and daily infections in Thailand which was gradually reducing, as well as the number of critical patients with pneumonia and other severe symptoms. The reduction was in line with the intentions of the ministry and the government which wanted to relax more Covid-19 measures.
Regarding the plan to announce Covid-19 as an endemic disease, Anutin said most of provinces were ready and willing to cooperate. Each provincial governor, as the chairman of the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee, was aware of the government’s policies and the needs of their people who wanted to have a normal life to earn a living.
The endemic disease plan must proceed under the same standard and procedures nationwide and could not be carried out only in certain areas/provinces like a sandbox, according to Anutin.
Provincial governors may have established other suitable measures to be implemented among local residents but they must be approved by the provincial public health authorities. So, they would be in the same direction as the national measures.
The Minister said: “In fact, we were walking towards the goal of making Covid-19 as an endemic disease every day. Measures were either cancelled or becoming less strict. The RT-PCR and the ‘Test&Go’, for instance.”
“Now, we only have suggested a self ATK for international arrivals. It was still there as we didn’t want the public to panic during and after Songkran. If 1-2 weeks had passed and there was no new infections involved, the ministry might suggest the ATK testing as well as the Thailand Pass cancellation eventually.”
Anutin also thanked the public for past cooperation in complying with preventive measures and receiving vaccinations which resulted in the stable number of daily infections after Songkran period.
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