Pol.Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, BMA Spokesman, revealed the situation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the area of Bangkok Metropolis that there were various major COVID-19 clusters and many of them had a tendency to be under control. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has collaborated with the Institute for Urban Disease Prevention and Control (IUDC) of the Ministry of Public Health, the Royal Thai Armed Forces, and related agencies in continuously expediting the control of the pandemic situation in various clusters. Especially in the congested communities or slums in Khlong Toei area, the active case finding was conducted to collect test specimen using nasopharyngeal swabs in Khlong Toei market community and to isolate COVID-19 infected persons and bring them into the medical treatment system.
The BMA Spokesman also talked about guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination in the area of Bangkok Metropolis. At this time, the BMA has received the limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccines; therefore, it is necessary to set the first vaccination priority to the at-risk groups of people including frontline personnel whose work is related to prevention and control of the spread of the disease and occupational risk groups. In the next phase, vaccination service will be provided to patients with chronic disease listed in 7 disease groups and the elderly who have already registered via various channels such as MorProm application or at the hospital. Later, the vaccination service will be provided for the general public.
With regard to the 14 vaccination service venues outside hospital that will provide service during May 12-14, 2021, it is now in a trial and system testing period. The BMA joins hands with the Board of Trade of Thailand in providing vaccines to target groups and namelist of the target group has already been sent to the BMA by the relevant organizations and agencies. The walk-in service for COVID-19 vaccination is not yet opened for the general public. The service will only be provided for the people whose name appear on the namelist for vaccination that the BMA’s Health Department has been contacted and scheduled for the service in advance. Subsequently, the occupational risk groups will be considered for vaccination, depending on the availability of vaccine the BMA received. If a large quantity of COVID-19 is allocated, the BMA will be able to rapidly distribute more vaccines to different occupational groups. The BMA will keep notifying the public of the amount of allocated COVID-19 vaccines.
As for vaccination service for foreigners residing in Thailand, the BMA’s Health Department still adheres to the policy that everyone living in Thailand will have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Previously, vaccination service was provided for foreign workers in Samut Sakhon Province. For Bangkok, once it is opened for Thai citizens to register for the vaccination, the foreign nationals will be later allowed to have access to the service.