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Samut Sakhon field hospitals plan to shut down as Covid cases drop to double-digits

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The central province and epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of Covid-19, Samut Sakhon is set to shut down as many as 7 field hospitals after daily reported cases of the virus have dropped to double-digits. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the permanent secretary for Public Health says the country is now only seeing between 30-50 new cases of Covid per day, thanks to successful disease control measures.

Such measures included active case finding in communities, surveillance and “bubble and seal” measures at factories which have seen about 10% of workers infected and quarantined. Those large factories enforced masks, hand-washing, testing and social distancing, which proved to be a successful strategy to control the spread of the virus which began its second-wave last December.

The field hospitals, which were set up to treat infected migrant workers, are now seeing more vacant beds, many being used unnecessarily. Now, there are only about 120 beds in use.

Kiattiphum says the ministry had recently spoken with the Samut Sakhon provincial public health chief about closing 7 of its 10 field hospitals, which feature 2,227 beds out of a total of 4,127 beds.

After shutting down the 7 field hospitals, only 3 would be left, with about 1,900 beds to be held in case of another emergency situation. And, if those hospitals prove to be not needed, they would be shut down as well.

As of February 15, Samut Sakhon reopened 22 wet markets but that didn’t include the seafood market where the outbreak began. Currently, there is no word yet on when the seafood market would reopen. Those 22 wet markets had been shut down since December 19 after the second-wave of Covid began.

58 new Covid-19 cases were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 513 active cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 26,598 coronavirus infections and 85 deaths.

Out of the 58 in cases, 17 were exposed to the virus while visiting high risk areas in Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nonthaburi and Ratchaburi.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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