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Covid-19: Test, test, test for the virus and look towards South Korean model, says former DPM


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Covid-19: Test, test, test for the virus and look towards South Korean model, says former DPM

 

Covid-19(7).jpg

File photo: Thailand Medical News

 

A former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand went on his personal Facebook page to look into the number of people tested for Covid-19 in Thailand and appeal for wider testing. 

 

He gave several reasons why testing has been poor and sluggish but said that now is the time to expand testing to asymptomatic individuals to prevent more cases swamping the health system. 

 

With an improved number of  testing labs the country now has the capacity to do 20,000 tests daily - they could do as many tests as they have done since January in the next few days. 

 

Dr Surapong Seubwonglee said that testing for the virus has been low in Thailand though it is higher than reported on worldometers.info that said 25,071 had been tested equating to just 359/million inhabitants. 

 

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Testing done in Thailand January to April 4th

 

He showed data that suggested 71,860 tests had been done from January to April 4th. The great majority of these were in Bangkok with Chula (pink on the graph) and Ramathibodi Hospital (Blue) the most. 

 

Dr Surapong said that the testing done in Thailand was a fraction of that done in South Korea and Germany. 

 

Yet Thailand found a greater percentage of people infected. This was because they had targeted high risk individuals rather than the asymptomatic population. 

 

He said that tests in Thailand need to be ramped up so that more people with the virus could be found and given medication early before their symptoms might become dangerous. This model has been widely praised around the world, notes Thaivisa, after it was adopted in South Korea.

 

Dr Surapong said there were several reasons for the sluggish approach to testing. There were few testing labs at first and most of those were in Bangkok. 

 

There are now 77 nationwide and the capacity for testing daily is 20,000. There will be 107 labs later this month. 

 

He conceded that problems over the cost of the tests and the lack of uniformity created difficulties. Now the cost has been fixed at 3,000 baht he said and Thais could access a test on their social security or other insurance. 

 

Test, test, test was the former DPM's message, especially now that the country has the labs to do so. 

 

Source: Sanook

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-04-08
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4 minutes ago, webfact said:

He conceded that problems over the cost of the tests and the lack of uniformity created difficulties. Now the cost has been fixed at 3,000 baht he said and Thais could access a test on their social security or other insurance. 

Why are people expected to pay for their tests when its a national health problem and should be covered in the stimulus packages .

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Nice, he disclosed private tests. Whistleblower of the day.

 

None of those will end up as confirmations in official stats. For that a PUI has to have positives from two reference labs and also have symptoms. Reference labs belong to MoPh and Army.

 

In that leaked graph the two reference labs look to be on the left. Doing the least testing, so low confirmations. I need to check with a magnifying glass though. That a covert photo or something?

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3 minutes ago, JCP108 said:

So, how many people are really positive if we include all the positive tests from those extras he's referring to?

I'd simply guesstimate 10% of the tests. It was thereabouts in the table that was floating around. 7k give or take and test in private hospitals are expensive, so limited crowd.

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Yes yes yes. 

Better late than never. 

No country really knows where they are at with this without massive testing including people with no symptoms. Also eventually antibody blood tests to identify people that already had it and recovered which many wouldn't even know as they had no or mild symptoms. 

 

My hunch is Thailand is somewhere between the better off countries like South Korea and the covid ravaged countries like Iran and the USA. 

 

But impossible to really know without massive testing. 

 

Ignorance is not bliss. 

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4 hours ago, keith101 said:

Why are people expected to pay for their tests when its a national health problem and should be covered in the stimulus packages .

Especially when 3000 baht remains a sizeable cost to a fair chunk of the Thai population. 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

with the virus could be found and given medication early

Anybody know what the "medication" is in this instance - or point me to a link thanks?

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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Yes yes yes. 

Better late than never. 

No country really knows where they are at with this without massive testing including people with no symptoms. Also eventually antibody blood tests to identify people that already had it and recovered which many wouldn't even know as they had no or mild symptoms. 

 

My hunch is Thailand is somewhere between the better off countries like South Korea and the covid ravaged countries like Iran and the USA. 

 

But impossible to really know without massive testing. 

 

Ignorance is not bliss. 

.

This is the rational tack.  Test & Trace.  Without knowledge of who has been infected and who their physical contacts have been, those trying to lessen the effects of this epidemic are flying blind.  Those who test free of infection may be able to go back to work, while those infected can be quarantined, but you must Test to know. 

 

America’s CDC and FDA have been dinosaurs with their regulatory inertia, too long forbidding university and private labs to test, and the government’s own test was fatally flawed.  Classic fumblers.  They wasted a month.  Thailand, please don’t hesitate now – Test & Trace. 

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What China is doing is interesting in order to begin to restart society. Everyone gets a code green yellow or red and they are tracked everywhere they go with their phone. Like when you go to 7-11 you scan in. Then if later a Covid positive person is found to have been there when you were, everyone there forced into a mandatory two week quarantine. That would work, it's somewhat better than what we're doing now, but will this be done or accepted by the public in Thailand or in western countries? I think it would be accepted by the Thai public (expats feelings don't matter) and wouldn't be surprised if something like that is eventually done here. The only limitation I can see is the organization ability of the Thais relative to the Chinese, but surely China would be willing and happy to help if asked.

 

A consequence of such a system intended or not is that most people would probably tend to limit their activities because the more places you go, the higher the chance you'll be thrown into quarantine. 

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1 minute ago, vangrop said:

JUST MATHEMATICS: on a population of around 70 million people it will last almost 10 years before everybody is tested once.

You can do mass random testing and identify hot spots and cold spots. That's a start. The blood antibody testing that will be available soon is actually quick and easy to cover large populations but that's about showing previous infections. 

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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

What China is doing is interesting in order to begin to restart society. Everyone gets a code green yellow or red and they are tracked everywhere they go with their phone. Like when you go to 7-11 you scan in. Then if later a Covid positive person is found to have been there when you were, everyone there forced into a mandatory two week quarantine. That would work, it's somewhat better than what we're doing now, but will this be done or accepted by the public in Thailand or in western countries? <snip> 

.

For a Westerner used to constitutional limitations on government power that protect individual liberty, what China is capable of doing here just scares the hell out of me.  I don’t see any limits to their police power, even if the stated intention is the public good.  They don’t have a tradition there of balancing personal freedoms with legitimate government powers.  They can get away with it. 

 

Further, I fear that this worldwide pandemic crisis will enormously inflate government power everywhere, and once the threat has retreated the Leviathan of authoritarianism will never scale back to respecting many of the freedoms we all once knew.  The rational balance will be lost.  History shows that once government power is increased during any kind of crisis, it is a ratchet effect that almost never rolls back, power inching up through time with liberties continually lost.  The almighty nanny State will take care of us, and we will all be happy, controlled, and constantly surveilled children. 

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3 hours ago, lamyai3 said:

Looks like they're going with the cheaper (and more toxic) chloroquine as opposed to the hydroxychloroquine being used in most trials. 

Cheap is the operative word around here: https://www.thaienquirer.com/10901/thailand-says-focused-testing-more-important-than-mass-testing-mass-testing-very-expensive/

 

As in life is cheap.

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The RTPCR test can't identify covid-19. It only detects corona viruses which could be any from that family. Most people have corona viruses in their system most of the time. It is not a Gold Standard Test and leads to False Positives if used to look for Covid-19 specifically. 

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