Top expert says number of Covid-19 cases in Thailand far higher than reported
BANGKOK (THE NATION) -The actual number of Covid-19 infections must be 10 times higher than reported by the Public Health Ministry as most patients develop mild symptoms, top virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan said on Sunday (June 26).
Thailand recorded 2,378 Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths on Sunday, according to the ministry.
Dr Yong also pointed out that the number of children infected by Covid-19 has surged now that schools have reopened, triggering a spread among families.
With children, he said, it was difficult to tell if they have the common flu or Covid-19.
"We expect Covid-19 to spread quickly from this month and the number of infections to reach their peak between July and September," he said.
He reckoned that Covid-19 infections will start dropping between October and December, before rising again in January, when respiratory diseases usually peak.
Dr Yong, who leads the Chulalongkorn University's Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology, said half of the children who participated in the centre's study had been infected with Covid-19 but were asymptomatic.
"To achieve a real number, a sentinel surveillance must be conducted in each venue, because the current Covid-19 infections report is based on patients who are hospitalised or tested positive via the RT-PCR method," he said.
He added that patients with mild symptoms were less infectious than those with severe symptoms. Also, those with mild symptoms recover quickly, he added.