Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Warns of the Need for Strict Social-distancing

On March 23, Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa issued his caution via the university's online television channel saying that the number of people with novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Thailand was soaring, like those of the European countries that were unable to control the disease.

According to the statistics, the countries that failed to control the disease saw Covid-19 cases rise from 100 to 200 in three days. The increase in Thailand took 3.5 days. The number of Covid-19 cases in Thailand was rising by 33% daily. At this rate, the number of infections  would reach about 350,000 and deaths total about 7,000 by April 15, Dr Prasit said.

To keep the number of Covid-19 patients within the country's capacity to treat them, the increase in local cases must be limited at 20% daily.

"To achieve this, people must stay at home, do not socialise... If you must go out to buy food, you must wear a mask, go the shortest distance and return home as fast as possible," Dr Prasit said.

"Talking normally to another person produces droplets that travel about one metre. So people must stay at least two metres apart. When you are talking to people, you must wear a mask. Wash your masks daily," he said.

"A communicable disease cannot be transmitted if people do not make contact. Home is the safest place,  unless there is an infected person."

Following this practice would limit the case increase rate to within 20% a day, or at 32.7 new cases a day. "It is difficult, but still possible. It must start today, or it would be too late," Dr Prasit said.


Source: Bangkok Post - March 23, 2020

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