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Thailand warns of spike in covid-19 cases after songkran celebration

BANGKOK (BERNAMA) – Thai health authorities yesterday warned that the public should brace for a surge in COVID-19 cases after the Songkran Festival from April 13 to 15.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) projected that in the worst case scenario, if the public fail to adhere to the various COVID-19 preventive measures, the daily COVID-19 cases could hit 100,000 after the Thai New Year.

Also, under the same scenario the daily fatalities could surpass 250 cases from mid-April to May.

Hence, DDC Epidemiology Bureau Chief Dr Jakrat Phittayawonganon urged the public to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 measures.

“The daily COVID-19 cases would double to around 50,000 cases and more than 100 fatalities after Songkran.

People participating in the Songkran Water Festival. PHOTO: AFP

“However, failure to adhere to these measures will bring a worst-case scenario of 100,000 daily infections, with up to 6,000 pneumonia patients, with 1,700 needing respirators and over 250 deaths per day,” he was quoted saying by The Nation.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha also urged the public to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 preventive measures, including wearing mask in public places. Government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the prime minister also urged the public to conduct self rapid antigen test and those above 60 years and the high risk group to take their booster shot.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said, amid high vaccination rates in the kingdom, he is confident the ministry could manage the COVID-19 situation if there is a surge after Songkran.

However, he raised concern on the unvaccinated elderly and children under five.

Over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 21,088 new cases and 91 fatalities, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 3,757,575 and 25,603 deaths.