The average number of new laboratory-confirmed (PCR positive) COVID-19 cases reported per day decreased by 5% in the past 7 days compared to the previous week, with the total passing 4.2 million reported cases of COVID-19 in Thailand. This is the third week of decreases; however, the rate of decrease (5%) slowed from 18% in the previous week. We must wait a little longer to know if these weekly decreases are a signal of reducing community transmission and not a disruption in reporting that may have occurred due to Songkran and other recent holidays. The average number of probable (ATK positive) cases reported per day over the last 7 days (16,222) increased considerably by 30% compared to the week before (12,446) – though the previously low figure probably represents a reduction in reporting due to Songkran. As not all probable (ATK positive) cases are subsequently confirmed by PCR testing, the likely 'total' daily case counts remain high. While new cases are declining, as are severe cases with ventilated cases levelled off, deaths continue to increase, as they have been since the beginning of the year.

Bangkok continues to report the highest daily number of COVID cases. It has reversed the last few weeks of average declines, with the average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day for Bangkok in the past week (3,351) 6.9% higher than the week prior (3,133).

The reduction in new cases has seen the average daily number of all currently 'active' COVID-19 cases (183,510) over the last seven days decrease by 16% compared to the previous week. Most cases 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 (46,726) decreased by 19% compared with the week prior (57,775).

In the opposite direction, deaths increased by 4%, with an average of 126 daily deaths reported in the past week compared to 121 for the previous week. This continues the increasing rise in deaths that has occurred since January but is a considerable slow down in the rate of increase that was up by 23% in the week before.

The average daily number of severe COVID-19 cases over the past seven days (1,955) decreased by 4.7% over the previous week. This is the first decrease in 11 weeks and a reduction back below the average of two-thousand cases (2,051) of the previous week. The average daily number of ventilated COVID-19 cases over the past seven days (895) represents a minimal increase of 0.9% compared to the week prior. This is the fourth week of slowing rates of increases in ventilated cases.

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 monitor the situation accurately. However, from the data reported, the increasing transmissibility of the Omicron variant is clear, with almost half (47%, 1.9 million) of all COVID cases (4.2 million) in Thailand reported in the last 4-months from 1 January 2022, which was the time when the Omicron variant started to dominate circulation.

Even with the current high case burden of 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. The CCSA are reporting a consistent pattern of most deaths occurring in vulnerable groups and those with incomplete vaccination. Of the 124 deaths reported on 25 April, 96% were in vulnerable groups, with 94% have not received a booster vaccination that is shown to be highly effective in preventing severe disease against the Omicron variant of concern.

Source: World Health Organization

By tladmin