Ministry considers new lockdown

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.

Ministry considers new lockdown
A woman wearing a face mask walks in Siam Square on Sunday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul) 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. 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 bringing the total since the pandemic began to 55,460. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit of the ministry said 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 show the number 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. Communicable disease committees in all 77 provinces will be asked to use "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. Currently, there are still enough beds, but if the transmissions increase, beds for severely ill patients will be only enough for the next two weeks, he said. For those who are not severely ill or have mild symptoms, there is a plan to reduce their time in hospital to 10 days.