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Locals threaten to burn hall if converted to field hospital



FILE PHOTO: Locals fear a field hospital will bring Covid-19 to their neighbourhood.

Citing fears of Covid-19 spreading, terrified locals threatened to burn down a Nakhon Si Thammarat conference hall authorities were preparing as a possible field hospital. The hall in the Muang district was one of several locations provincial authorities were readying as potential makeshift medical care facilities if the Covid-19 outbreak worsens. As of now, the governor chose 3 sites at Phra Phrom Hospital, Walailak University and Phor Than Khlai Hospital to be used for field hospitals, so far avoiding this panicked backlash.

Residents hung banners in front of Thung Thalad conference hall with messages of opposition, with one sign saying directly that if the municipality sets up a field hospital, the residents of Na Khian will burn it down. Local leaders explain that the townspeople are terrified that patients will be brought from other areas with their Covid-19 infections and the medical facility would bring an outbreak of Coronavirus in their neighbourhood.

The local residents did offer a concession, however, as an alternative to the hall they threatened to burn if converted to a field hospital. Townspeople said they would allow Ban Khlong Din School to use one building as a quarantine facility only for local people who are at risk of infection. The 3 field hospitals that the provincial communicable disease control panel had already agreed to set up would only be used to treat patients from established hospitals who were experiencing only mild symptoms.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat now, tourist-friendly walking streets and markets are temporarily closed and fresh markets and flea markets would also be closed for 2 days to undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Service establishments and other Covid-19 prone businesses had been closed for 14 days, but that order was extended indefinitely until the outbreak calms. Festivals and other large group gatherings have been cancelled and banned as well. The only exception is for funerals, where Covid-19 safety protocols must be strictly enforced and attendees limited to 50 people.

SOURCE: Phuket News


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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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