Daily new cases must fall below 10 to contain Covid-19

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To keep the spread of Covid-19 at bay, daily new cases have to be in single digits, the spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said, urging people to continue wearing masks and observe social distancing even if some lockdown restrictions are eased at the end of this month.

Thailand’s total number of Covid-19 patients rose to 2,765 with 32 new cases confirmed over a 24-hour period, and no deaths, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman, said on Sunday (April 19).

After a second successive day without deaths, the number of fatalities remains at 47, while 1,928 patients have recovered and returned to their homes and 790 are undergoing treatment in hospitals. This is good news as there has been no new death for two days and the number of people in hospitals is declining, said Taweesin.

Sunday’s new cases offered more proof that the coronavirus curve in Thailand might be flattening.

On April 9 there were 54 new cases, 50 on April 10, 45 on April 11, 33 on April 12, 28 on April 13, 34 on April 14, 30 on April 15, 29 on April 16 ,28 on April 17, and 33 on April 18 and 32 on April 19.

He said the CCSA was satisfied to some extent about the drop in new cases compared to previous weeks.

“To keep the spread of coronavirus at bay, we have to drive daily new cases to single digits,” he emphasised.

As Thailand has prepared to ease some lockdown restrictions, Taweesin said two key things must continue to be implemented — social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Social distancing or physical distancing means people should stay away from each other by about 1-2 metres because saliva droplets could travel as far and it could carry virus.

“We cannot say that business will be reopened on May 1, but we have to make the best preparation for it,” he said.

He said Thais have to accept the new normal, a reference to physical distancing and wearing masks.

“The West initially did not accept wearing masks, but they do now. We, Thais, had adopted wearing of masks earlier, that is probably why the number of deaths in Thailand and other Asian countries are not high while virus deaths in the West have reached 100,000, he noted.

Taweensin said data showed people in the 20-29 age group to be at higher risk for infection as they account for one-fourth of the total cases.

People aged between 20-39 account for half of the total cases.

These people love to socialise so they are at risk and they could become virus spreaders as many may not have symptoms or only mild symptoms, he added.