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The Public Health Ministry on Monday unveiled plans to combat a fresh wave of Covid infections.

According to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary of the ministry, many people attended Songkran events in congested areas without taking precautions to keep themselves safe. He explained that as a result, after the holiday season, the Public Health Ministry anticipates a large number of Covid patients.

Those who partied in crowded areas should keep a close eye on themselves for seven days and avoid visiting elderly or ill family members. If they feel sick, they should also undergo quick antigen (ATK) tests.

He suggested the following measures for self-defense:

• Obtain booster shots for Covid-19. Every year, vulnerable individuals should receive booster doses for Covid and the flu.

• When approaching old persons or patients, such as in hospitals or senior housing facilities, always wear a face mask.

· If there are any indications of respiratory issues, have ATK tests.Opas also unveiled four initiatives for those working in public health, including:

• Increasing public education efforts about the value of yearly influenza and Covid-19 vaccinations.

• Ensuring that hospitals have the drugs and beds they need to handle the anticipated rise in new Covid cases.

• Keeping track of Covid cases and deaths in the provinces. Additionally, samples from those who have died from the virus should be collected for RT-PCR DNA analysis at the Medical Sciences Department. Those who passed away should also have their backgrounds looked into and submitted to the government within 24 hours.

If patients pass away or experience severe symptoms, investigating and locating the infection’s source is necessary.

A novel Covid-19 subvariant, XBB.1.16 or Arcturus, has been classified as a “variant under monitoring” by the World Health Organization. The variant has now been identified in 29 nations since it was initially discovered in January. It belongs to the Omicron subvariant, which first appeared in 2021 and took the position of Delta as the most prevalent variant globally.

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