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DDC Plans To Broaden Covid-19 Testing

Samui Times Editor

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DDC Plans To Broaden Covid-19 Testing | Samui Times
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Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director-General Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai announced today that they intend to check an average of 6,000 people per million population, or 85,000 samples per month, for Covid-19, as part of long-term disease control initiatives.

“The DDC will use proactive measures to expand the scope of the testing to cover those residing in or returning from high-risk areas with high-risk habits or careers, as we are currently focused mainly on those who have had close contact with confirmed patients,” he said.

“Although Thailand is seeing fewer new cases, these measures are necessary to prevent a second wave of the pandemic, which could happen if people do not follow social distancing practices.”

According to the Director-General, examples of high-risk behaviours or occupations could be found in staff living in crowded lodgings, prisoners, bus drivers and passengers, taxi drivers, and medical staff.

Suwanchai further clarified that the DDC would use the more affordable saliva testing technique instead of nasal cavity testing to check-in higher numbers.

“With this approach, we can test pooled samples of 5-10 samples at a time that should enable us to meet the goal of 6,000 tests per million tests or 85,000 samples per month,” he added.

Suwanchai also added that the DDC conducted surveys of people’s behaviours during Covid-19 eight times from January to May 5.

“The results from 27,843 samples show improvement,” he said.

“For example, more people wash their hands regularly — from 61.2% in the first survey to 92.7% in the eighth survey.

The wearing of face masks while going outside also rose from 56.2% to 74.6%, while social distance perception jumped from 72.3% to 94.1%.

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

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