Thailand speeds up vaccinations for target groups hinh anh 1A monk receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot in Bangkok (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is racing against time to give COVID-19 vaccines to target groups, especially senior citizens, to reduce their death rate, reported the Bangkok Post newspaper.

Sophon Iamsirithavorn, deputy chief of the Department of Disease Control, said a vaccination campaign for the elderly is ongoing, with 20.28 million doses administered.

In Bangkok, 900,000 senior citizens (87 percent) have already been given the vaccines. However, less than 50 percent or only 3.67 million of seniors nationwide have received the vaccines.

On August 9, Thailand logged 19,603 new cases and 149 deaths, raising the total to 776,108 and 6,353, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia will relax some COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated people from August 10, which will allow dining in at restaurants, outdoor individual sports and interstate tourism, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address.

He cited data which shows that of a total 246,242 health workers have been fully vaccinated, only 4,635 or 1.88 percent became infected with COVID-19. Among them, 4,625 or 99.78 percent only exhibited mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

Muhyiddin said those who were fully vaccinated could build immunity against the coronavirus and have stronger protection against severe symptoms, which in turn is capable of reducing the infectivity rate by half.

The relaxation certainly comes with a risk of an increase in daily cases, he warned. However, the Malaysian government will not underestimate the benefits of full vaccination and the role of relaxation towards people’s mental and physical health, and the country’s economy.

The Lao Ministry of Health on August 9 announced that the country saw 170 new cases in the past 24 hours, including 21 domestic ones.

The number of patients who are workers returning from abroad is on the rise. Savannakhet currently has the largest number of cases with over 3,000, followed by Champasak province and Vientiane capital.

The Health Ministry said returned workers must stay an additional two weeks in quarantine at their locality and test negative with COVID-19 twice, after finishing the 28-day period of mandatory concentrated quarantine. 

So far, Laos has documented 8,562 COVID-19 infections, including eight fatalities./.