'Post-pandemic Day' edges near
"We will keep to our schedule to announce the post-pandemic era on July 1. And what we expect to see is only small or medium clusters that will not do any harm to our public health service. The disease will be under control," Dr Kiattiphum said on Monday.
He admitted that two new Covid-19 subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, had already arrived, but said there had not been any significant change in the number of severe cases admitted to hospitals, raising hopes neither will prompt a scare.
The ministry has opted to base its big announcement on a more optimistic premise, but only after the World Health Organization downgrades Covid-19 to endemic status, Dr Kiattiphum said.
The ministry will then reconsider the state's responsibility for treating those who continue to catch Covid-19, Dr Kiattiphum said.
Meanwhile, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said on Monday the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted that the number of foreign visitors to Thailand could exceed 10 million this year, which is in line with the rising numbers of travellers to other countries that have relaxed their entry restrictions.
She further said the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has asked all airlines and airport executives to increase flights and personnel to be ready to deal with an expected surge in international arrivals, as this Friday also marks the end of the Thailand Pass registration requirement.
Ms Traisulee also called for a collective effort to get the industry back on its feet again.
"The government would like to invite operators of tourism-related businesses to join hands with state agencies to help revive the tourism sector by rolling out promotional campaigns to attract tourists.
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