(Bloomberg) -- Thailand will downgrade Covid-19 from a “dangerous” communicable disease to one that “needs monitoring” starting from October, as the country’s virus situation has started to stabilize, according to the Ministry of Public Health.  

The move, which will remove Covid-19 from the same category as plague and smallpox to the same level as influenza and dengue, is to reflect the reality of the situation in Thailand, said Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.  

The move reflects Thailand’s health-system readiness, availability of treatments and “appropriate self-protection behavior” of people around the country, Anutin said in a statement. Thailand will also adjust the country’s post-pandemic management plan to allow private hospitals to start directly procuring antiviral drugs “soon,” rather than going through government channels, he said. 

Authorities said last week that Thailand should start seeing a decline in severe Covid-19 cases and deaths by mid-August. Thailand on July 1 lifted virtually all travel restrictions and an outdoor mask mandate.  

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