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### Covid-19 Cases Surge in Bangkok: Urgent Warning from Medical Authorities

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As the sun began its daily ascent over Bangkok, a throng of students made their way into Wat Ratchanatda School, their faces adorned with masks and their movements cautious. Last month, Covid-19 control measures were still the order of the day. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The recent numbers paint a concerning picture. Covid-19 cases soared by at least 900 compared to the previous week, with a somber note of one fatality recorded each day. The Public Relations Department’s Covid-19 Information Centre shared this grim revelation. From June 2-8, a staggering 2,762 people were hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment, translating to an average of 395 individuals per day.

This was a sharp increase of 48.3% from the preceding week, May 26-June 1, when 1,863 hospitalizations were documented, averaging 266 cases daily. Each of these weeks bore the heart-wrenching report of at least one life lost to the virus daily.

Since the beginning of the year, the statistics have been alarming. A total of 23,245 patients have been admitted to hospitals due to Covid-19, and the death toll has climbed to 137 so far, as outlined in the information centre’s report.

Dr. Thira Woratanarat from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine took to Facebook to sound a warning. According to him, this season seems to be a peak period for the virus’s spread.

In another corner of cyberspace, the Centre for Medical Genomics at the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, shared promising news on their Facebook page. They are on the brink of developing a new generation Covid-19 vaccine, grounded on the KP.2 sub-variant.

Researchers have harnessed the KP.2 sub-variant, particularly focusing on the V1104L-type mutation, as the foundation for this novel vaccine. The centre noted that the KP.2 sub-variant was chosen as it accounted for at least 22.5% of American Covid-19 cases.

The research suggests that using the V1104L-type sub-variant mutation significantly boosts the vaccine’s efficacy, ensuring a swifter immune response at the antibody level.

Presently, the KP.2-based vaccine is awaiting approval from global health bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO). If all goes well, it will be the primary Covid-19 vaccine for the 2024-2025 season, the centre added.

June 5 marked another significant update from the Department of Disease Control (DDC), as they released the latest national Covid-19 diagnosis and treatment guidelines. This edition brought revisions to antivirus drug prescriptions and provided new recommendations for Covid-19 patients, adapting as the virus evolves.

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