The government will declare Covid-19 endemic in October, and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will then no longer be the main agency dealing with the disease.
CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Friday that from October the disease would be under the emergency operations centre of the Public Health Ministry and provincial communicable disease committees, instead of the CCSA chaired by the prime minister. He gave no specific date.
From November, the provincial committees would be the sole agencies dealing with it.
Infected people would be isolated in line with the guidelines of the Department of Medical Services, he said.
The decision to declare the disease endemic was based on the presently limited number of severe Covid-19 cases and related fatalities.
"The goal is for people to be able to coexist safely with Covid-19 and live normal lives," Dr Taweesilp said.
The present Covid-19 situation was at the green level, where there were daily 2,000-3,999 inpatients and 11-39 deaths and 201-399 inpatients dependent on ventilators, and clusters of infection were limited, Dr Taweesilp said.
The numbers were not high, although new cases were rising due to the spread of the BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron strain. "The disease has toned itself down," Dr Taweesilp said.
In addition, surveys in April and May showed that more than 90% of people had antibodies to the virus and studies found that three shots of any Covid-19 vaccines reduced the possibility of severe illness and death by more than 90%, he said.
The incidence of Covid-19 would be similar to influenza, and there would be new cases all year long, Dr Taweesilp said.
He said the CCSA on Friday did not consider whether the state of emergency would be lifted along with the downgrading of Covid-19.
The state of emergency imposed to cope with Covid-19 was earlier extended to the end of September. Officials had time to further monitor the situation before making a decision, Dr Taweesilp said.