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Covid-19 falling, even in Deep South, but still dire in Chiang Mai

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: A field hospital is being set up at Chiang Mai airport as Covid-19 remains a big problem.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the good news is that, throughout Thailand, Covid-19 infection rates are successfully falling. The bad news is that Chiang Mai, traditionally a popular tourist and expat living destination, is a notable exception to the rule, with an increasingly dire situation on the ground there.

Infection numbers in the Deep South of Thailand continue to be concerning, but they have at least been on a mostly downward trend in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala following increasingly strict Covid-19 control measures that seem to have helped contain the infection spread.

But Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south, as well as Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phattalung, Tak, and Trang provinces, are still reporting worrisome numbers that require close observation, according to the Ministry of Public Health’s Permanent Secretary. The numbers have been declining, but not nearly as quickly as officials would like to see.

In Chiang Mai, the continuing Covid-19 numbers have led to a critical bed shortage that has been ongoing for several weeks, with ICU and hospital facilities struggling to keep up with needs. Patients classified as Orange and Red – severe to critical symptoms – are especially facing issues with beds being unavailable. Nakornping Hospital is setting up a field hospital ICU facility utilising Hall 3 of Chiang Mai International Airport and will be able to house and care for 50 severe Covid-19 patients.

3 venues in 3 different districts also were ordered closed by the Communicable Disease Committee in Chiang Mai this week after Covid-19 infection clusters were uncovered. In Mae Taeng district the Ban Khru Nong nursery was ordered closed, as were Ko Mui night market in Saraphi district and Thung Siao fresh market in San Patong district.

Patrons of any of the 3 locations that were considered high risk were instructed to get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the test results. Others who had visited but were considered low risk for infection were instructed to just self-monitor for 2 weeks.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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