Thailand had a record high of 16,533 new Covid-19 cases and 133 new death over the past 24 hours, the Public Health department reported on Wednesday morning. There were 16,331 cases in the general population and 202 among prison inmates.
Since April 1, when the third wave of Covid-19 began, there have been 514,498 Covid-19 patients, 333,268 of whom have recovered. Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 543,361 Covid-19 cases, 360,694 of whom recovered in Thailand.
The death toll was at 4,303 in the third wave and 4,397 from the beginning of the pandemic early last year.The previous high of new infections at 15,376 reported on Monday. The high of daily Covid-19 fatalities at 144 was reported on July 17.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the intense Covid-19 situation will affect the country for the next two to three weeks or four weeks at most.
Mr Sathit said the prime minister has given a directive that in 14 days, the lockdown and the curfew will be reviewed and a decision will be made based on the severity of the situation at that time.
Any decision to step up the restrictions after 14 days rests with the Department of Disease Control and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, he said.
The deputy public health minister said the cabinet meeting discussed measures underway to bring down the Covid-19 curve, including sending those infected back for treatment in their home provinces so to alleviate overcrowding at hospitals and medical facilities in the hardest-hit provinces, including Bangkok.
Meanwhile, The Public Health department insists the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which was donated by the United States and expected to arrive on Wednesday, will be given to all frontline health workers across the country.
“I can confirm that this batch of Pfizer vaccine will be enough to vaccinate all frontline health workers and public health officials,” deputy permanent secretary for health Sura Wisedsak said on Tuesday.
Dr Sura said that the Pfizer vaccine will be offered as a booster shot for frontline units, some of whom have already received an AstraZeneca booster.