BMA adds verifying step before disseminating timeline of COVID-19 confirmed case focusing on accuracy and promptness

Mrs. Panrudee Manomaipibul, Director-General of Health Department of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), clarified the process of preparing timelines of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Bangkok area that the Disease Investigation Officers used the information from medical and health facilities together with interviews of the confirmed cases and disease investigation data. Later, the data set was created and proposed to the working group for consideration. After that, it will be made into timeline and publicize throughout the media. However, timelines of COVID-19 cases are supposed to be prepared rapidly so that people will be aware of the situation and protect themselves in time. In addition, it was currently found that there was the infection among the group of people who carried out certain activities mutually and could not prevent themselves from infection, such as being unable to keep physical distancing or wear a mask at all times. In order to rapidly control and prevent the disease, it is necessary to set up a basic data collection teams comprising officers from central agencies. They may not be familiar with each locality and cause discrepancies of the location report. In this regard, the BMA is ready to review the process of timeline preparation by verifying the accuracy of information and places from the patients and establishments such as BMA Public Health Centers. The patients will be asked to recheck information before disseminating to the public to prevent discrepant communication for the next time.

For the next step, the BMA officers visited the establishments to clarify compulsory disease prevention and control measures. In this regard, restaurants or food and beverage shops were closed for cleaning and sanitizing and had followed the disease prevention and control measures as recommended by the BMA to ensure that the premise was safe and was not source of disease transmission.

The Director-General of Health Department also added that the BMA asked for public cooperation to follow the measures as prescribed by the Government to protect themselves from COVID-19. This also includes measures to prevent from the new surge of COVID-19 outbreak based on D-M-H-T-T principles: “D” – Distancing, “M” – Mask Wearing at all times, “H” – Handwashing, “T” – Testing of body temperature before entering the premises, and “T” – “Thaichana” which is an application used for check-in every time before entering the premises. In case that anyone is infected with COVID-19, he or she is required to give a clear, complete, and accurate information to the BMA officers who conduct disease investigation. This aims at rapid disease investigation; tracking of people exposed to COVID-19 as much as possible; and prevention of the COVID-19 outbreak in a timely manner.