The average number of new laboratory-confirmed (PCR positive) COVID-19 cases reported per day increased by only 2% in the past 7 days compared to the previous week, the same rate as the previous week. Although the daily reported confirmed case numbers appear to have plateaued, case numbers remain very high. In addition, not all probable (ATK positive) cases are subsequently confirmed by PCR testing. The average number of probable (ATK positive) cases reported per day over the last 7 days (18,133) decreased by 16% compared to the week before (21,498) but remains very high (today reported almost 27,000).
Bangkok continues to report the highest daily number of COVID cases. The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day for Bangkok in the past week (3,299) has slightly dropped from the previous week and is 2.3% lower than the week prior (3,377).
The average daily number of all currently ‘active’ COVID-19 cases (252,542) over the last seven days increased by 2.4 % compared to the previous week. This is half the previous rate of increase. A greater proportion of patients continue to be monitored in hospitels, community isolation and home isolation. The average number of COVID cases occupying hospital beds per day over the past week (64,519) is 2.2% higher than the average daily number reported for the week prior (63,212). Bed occupancy appears to have plateaued, with average bed occupancy from 8 March to today at 64,268
An average of 93 daily deaths were reported in the past week compared to 78 for the previous week, a large increase of 19% and following a steadily increasing rise in deaths that has occurred since January.
The average daily number of severe COVID-19 cases over the past seven days (1,838) represents a 10% increase over the average number reported for the previous week (1,665). The average daily number of ventilated COVID-19 cases over the past seven days (749) represents a 15% increase over the average number reported for the week prior (649).
The rise in new COVID-19 case numbers continues to cause a significant increase in the number of severe and ventilated cases in hospitals in Thailand. However, the number of seriously ill COVID-19 cases remains lower than the numbers seen in July and August 2021. However, both severe and ventilated cases have been steadily climbing, with ventilated cases increasing faster and just 33% below their highest ever reported levels of August 2021. On 1 February 2022, ventilated cases were 91% below the August 2021 peak. Despite these increases, there remains capacity in the healthcare system to admit patients.
Although Thailand has not experienced the same degree of an upsurge of COVID-19 cases as seen in some other countries, cases including severe, ventilated and deaths have increased substantially since the beginning of the year.
The policy of not confirming by PCR testing for all probable cases, as well as the widespread use of rapid antigen tests (including those available ‘over the counter’ that may not be reported), continues to make it difficult to accurately monitor the situation. However, of the 3.7 million cases in Thailand reported in the 27 months from January 2020 to today, over 1.5 million (41%) have occurred in the last 3-months from 1 January 2022.
Even with current increases in cases of rising COVID-19, vaccination rates in Thailand continue to significantly reduce levels of severe illness and deaths caused by circulating COVID-19 strains.
High vaccination rates also help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. However, vaccination rates are still low in some provinces and some important risk groups.