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Prachuap Khiri Khan prison manages Covid-19 with emergency operations centre

Prachuap Khiri Khan prison manages Covid-19 with emergency operations centreLegacy

The Covid-19 situation at Prachuap Khiri Khan prison in Thailand is set to be managed by an imminent emergency operations centre (EOC), following the identification of infection clusters. This development comes as the public health permanent secretary, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, reported intensified surveillance in the wake of 79 confirmed Covid cases at the prison.

The first infection was detected on March 27 after a 35 year old female inmate exhibiting influenza-like symptoms tested positive for Covid upon her admission to Prachuap Khiri Khan Hospital. A male inmate also returned a positive result during a screening process for a prison transfer.

This led to compulsory Covid screening for all inmates and prison officials from March 28 to March 29. Of the 1,906 inmates tested, 70 were confirmed positive, while nine out of 85 prison officials were also infected. All affected individuals were isolated for five days as samples were collected for further analysis.

In the country, the Department of Disease Control’s weekly report, from March 17 to March 23, revealed 630 new Covid cases and five deaths. Of these new cases, 222 presented with severe pneumonia and 74 required endotracheal intubation. The total cases and deaths for this year now stand at 6,238 and 60 respectively.

Dr Yong Poovorawan, a director at the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, predicted on Facebook that Covid infections would decline during the summer before seeing a rise again in June. According to him, the JN.1 sub-variant of the Omicron Covid variant is currently the dominant strain and does not seem to cause more severe symptoms, reported Bangkok Post.

In his advice to the public, Dr Yong stated that individuals should seek Covid tests when they begin to show respiratory symptoms. Isolation is advised for those with a heavy cough or fever. Once they recover, they can return to their normal routines but they should continue to wear face masks for at least five days and practice good hygiene.

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