According to Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, about half the population has acquired immunity against Covid-19 but this is still far short of the government’s 80% target.
Dr. Chakkarat Pitayowonganon, director of its epidemiology division, said that around 10% of Thailand’s 67.5 million people are believed to already be infected with Covid-19.
Those with immunity against the novel Coronavirus should represent about half the population when combined with those who received two doses of vaccine plus a booster shot, he said.
In particular, booster shots should be prioritized for vulnerable groups like the elderly and people with serious underlying illnesses.
Many people of working age were enjoying public activities during the Songkran holiday last week. As most of them were fully vaccinated and had received booster shots, the risk of getting sick was low.
Dr. Chakkarat said there is growing concern that they might have passed the virus to family and friends during Songkran visits.
According to the director, about 55% of those in vulnerable groups have not been inoculated at all according to the herd immunity calculator.
Dr. Chakkarat explained that people returned from Songkran carrying the virus to their home provinces, raising concerns about an increase in the number of cases following the festival.
On Tuesday morning, the Public Health Ministry announced 129 Covid-19 deaths over the previous 24 hours, this is up five from the last count and an all-time high.
As of Wednesday, there were 16,891 new cases, down 103 from Wednesday, but that does not include 12,945 positive antigen tests, which would raise the total to 29,836.
When in close contact with vulnerable people, Dr. Chakkarat recommends wearing a face mask, sleeping in separate rooms, practicing social distancing when eating, and ensuring your elderly relatives are vaccinated.
Dr. Chakkarat says the initial post-Songkran infection rate has decreased slightly, but this is probably because fewer RT-PCR and antigen tests have been conducted.
According to experts, daily caseloads may increase from 50,000 to 100,000 following the festival.