There were 590 new Covid-19 cases which required hospitalisation from Dec 3-9, the biggest jump in confirmed coronavirus infections since July, the Department of Disease Control reported on Monday.
The latest figures brought the total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections since Jan 1 to 36,794. Five deaths from Covid-19 were reported last week, raising the death toll from the virus since Jan 1 this year to 831.
There were currently 94 Covid-19 patients with active infections in their lungs, 49 of whom required oxygen supplementation, the DDC announcement said.
In response to the DDC’s announcement, Dr Thira Woratanarat, of Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine, said the actual number of new infections was likely to be in the range 4,215-5,854 per day, as most people are taking their antigen test too early after their initial exposure to the virus.
Antigen tests worked best 4-5 days after initial exposure, he said. People with Covid-like symptoms who test negative should retake the test during this optimum window for detection.
Dr Thira said Covid-19 cases were expected to increase as the BA.2.86 variant becomes dominant strain in Thailand.
Dr Manoon Leechawengwongs, a pulmonologist at Vichaiyut Hospital, said the public had little to worry about as the Covid-19 virus had mutated so much that it now posed less of a health risk, even to those who were unvaccinated.
“Covid-19 is not as concerning as it used to be. It is advised to take antiviral pills within the first five days of infection for optimal efficiency,” Dr Manoon said.
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