TH’s Siriraj Hospital cautions against renewed COVID-19 outbreaks in December after resurgence in Europe

Europe is now experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks, notably in Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy. In Thailand, respected public health figures are also expressing concerns about a potential resurgence of outbreaks in December amidst cooler weather and increased movement of people.

Prof. Prasit Watanapa, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, explained that the World Health Organization is highly concerned about the spread of Covid in Europe at the moment and warned that 500,000 deaths could be incurred by March unless urgent action is taken. He said studies show that outbreaks on one continent will spread to other continents in due course, but the death rate will be less than last year as the majority of people have been vaccinated.

Dr. Prasit said Thailand was among the first countries to administer the third dose of the vaccine after Covid infections started to rise in fully inoculated healthcare providers. He said European nations initially did not advocate the third dose but are now administering third doses to senior citizens afflicted with chronic illnesses and healthcare professionals.

Dr. Prasit noted that not every country that lifted Covid restrictions was greeted by problems, citing Japan and Israel. He asserted that discipline and cooperation in observing disease control measures are needed from all parties in order for Thailand’s ‘reopening’ to be successful.

He urged people to keep four risk contributors that comprised time period, person, venue, and activity from overlapping with one another. The professor elaborated that the month of December has many holidays and festivals coinciding with cooler weather, and therefore venue operators must avoid making their places into risk spots while individuals should refrain from putting themselves at risk.