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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Jack Arthur



PHOTO: Matthew Perkins on Flickr

Multiple hospitals in the Bangkok area have stopped doing PCR swab tests for Covid-19. Their rationale is that if some test comes back positive, there won’t be beds for the patients. Other hospitals have “scaled down” the swab tests because their staff is too busy, says Dr Suppachok Kirdlarp.

Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, head of the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Centre, says that Chulalongkorn Hospital has stopped doing Covid swab tests for 4 days starting today. Dr Thiravat cites the lack of beds for potentially infected people.

The doctor goes on to say that patients are still coming to the ER and many have developed lung infections. However, there no beds available for them. He says other hospitals have the same problem.

He adds that field hospitals in the Deep Red Zone have beds and ventilators, “but the problem is finding doctors and nurses”.

Dr Suppachok posted on his Facebook to say that because fewer swab tests are being done, the daily new infection rate may not be an accurate reflection of the number of infected people.

The doctor casts doubt on the government’s assertion that the “hospital bed management system” is working fine. If this is true, he questions why there are cases of infected people being refused admission to a hospital who have been waiting up to 4 days. Dr Suppachok says that severe cases usually occupy ICU beds for between 2 weeks a month. However, they can be as much as 2 months for patients that need a ventilator.

Dr Suppachok further questions Sinovac’s efficacy. He wonders why some countries that used Sinovac still had to reimpose lockdown measures. Also, why hasn’t research work done on the vaccine been revealed.

He pointed out that the U.S. has brought new infections down to the thousands from as much as 200,000 cases after Pfizer and Moderna were used to innoculate people.



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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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