Thailand’s Health Ministry says asymptomatic Covid-19 patients may be allowed to recover at home, in order to ensure hospital beds can be kept for seriously ill patients. The ministry says it’s preparing a “recover at home” plan, but insists it is not being implemented for the time being as there are currently enough beds available. Just over a week ago, health officials confirmed there was no plan to change its mandatory hospitalisation policy for anyone testing positive for the virus.
The Bangkok Post reports that should the plan be put into operation, strict criteria will still apply. Hospitals can only recommend asymptomatic patients recover at home and they must remain in self-isolation for a full month. Apart from being asymptomatic, patients must be under the age of 40 and have no underlying conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, or any other condition that may put them at risk. Patients will be required to consent to self-isolation at home and, in the event they live in a condo or other shared building, permission must also be obtained from the building supervisor.
Concerns are growing about the high demand for hospital beds as Covid-19 infections rise across the country. However, the Health Ministry says there are still enough beds available at this time. Somsak Akksilp from the Department of Medical Services says the real challenge is the long wait for beds rather than an actual shortage.
“We’re making preparations for the home isolation programme but it is not yet implemented. We have a total of 9,317 beds, an increase from 6,000-7,000 beds. About 3,000 beds are still available.”
He adds that, with more serious cases expected this week, hospitals have been ordered to reserve beds in intensive care units. Officials are also increasing the number of Covid-19 patient transport vehicles in the country to 100, acknowledging that the limited number has also contributed to long waits over the last week.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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