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Thai public health ministry mulls new lockdown

This July 1 photo shows students at Prachaniwet School in Bangkok's Chatuchak district observing social distancing. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BANGKOK, Apr 26, 2021, Bangkok Post. The Public Health Ministry has proposed “targeted lockdown” measures and a new colour-coding system to identify provinces most at risk of the latest Covid-19 outbreak, Bangkok Post reported.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary of the ministry, said on Sunday the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre called an urgent meeting in response to the severity of the latest wave of Covid-19.

Thailand yesterday logged 11 new deaths, a record high that included a pregnant woman, raising the toll to 140. The government recorded 2,438 new coronavirus cases, all but five contracted locally, bringing the accumulated total since the pandemic began to 55,460.

He said it was agreed at the meeting that disease control measures will be tightened with zoning based on a revised colour-coding system to identify provinces hit by Covid-19.

Currently, red, orange, yellow and green are used to illustrate the degree of Covid-19 infections in provinces affected by the disease.

The red zone means maximum control and a high number of infections; the second-highest control zone is orange, followed by the high surveillance zone (yellow) while the surveillance zone (green) applies to provinces without infection.

Under the new colour-coding system, there will be only three zones — dark red under special, maximum control, red and orange to respond to the current situation, Dr Kiattiphum said.

He added that the communicable disease committees in all 77 provinces will be asked to adopt “targeted lockdown” measures to ban activities involving large crowd gatherings.

The proposals will be presented for consideration by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), he said.

Dr Kiattiphum said the meeting also discussed other urgent issues, particularly shortages of hospital beds in Bangkok, and tried to find ways to solve the problem, he said.

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