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Provincial hospitals treating nearly 100,000 Covid-19 patients from Bangkok



PHOTO: Flickr/Public Services International

Thailand’s provincial hospitals are treating nearly 100,000 Covid-19 patients who have been transferred out of Bangkok. Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong from the Ministry of Public Health says many Bangkok residents who test positive for the virus are opting to travel to their home provinces for treatment, with 94,664 having done so to date. He says that so far, hospitals in the provinces are coping with the increase in patient numbers.

“Due to the increasing number of imported cases (Covid-19 patients transferred to the provinces), we have seen an 80% occupancy rate for beds at hospitals in the central and eastern regions. At the national level, 156,189 beds or 73.49% of all hospital beds, excluding those in Bangkok, are already occupied. The situation is under control as we still have 41,185 beds available right now. We also have sufficient medical staff and equipment for patients at provincial hospitals.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Covid-19 patients who want to return to their home province for treatment must contact the local healthcare facility before travel, to ensure there is space available. If they can be accommodated, officials will arrange their transfer out of Bangkok. Thongchai says provincial hospitals are increasing the number of beds they have available, while community hospitals are being adapted to treat Covid-19 patients.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control says a specially-formed team is delivering healthcare kits to Covid-19 patients who are home-isolating in Bangkok. Around 100,000 patients are reported to be carrying out home isolation in the capital. The programme allows asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms to isolate in their homes until they test negative, to alleviate pressure on hospital beds in the capital. They will receive medical kits containing paracetamol, a thermometer, surgical masks, an oxygen pulse fingertip oximeter, hand sanitiser, and herbal medicine.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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