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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Tak hospital doctor pleads for medical supplies to treat Burmese Covid patients

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: H Shaw on Unsplash

A hospital doctor in the northern province of Tak has taken to Facebook to plead for donations of medical supplies and personal protective equipment. Nattagarn Chuenchom works in a state-run hospital currently treating Covid-19 patients from neighbouring Myanmar, which is experiencing a small surge in virus numbers.

The current total of cases in Myanmar is 1,419. Yesterday another 166 cases were added.

Tak hospital doctor pleads for medical supplies to treat Burmese Covid patients | News by Thaiger

Surge in cases in Myanmar. SOURCE: worldometers.info

The doctor says hospital supplies of N95 masks and other PPE are running low, as are other essentials, such as waterproof medical gowns, surgical gloves, face shields and sanitisers.

“Now our stocks are running low from the first round of outbreak containment. Our budget is also drying up. We have almost nothing left now.”

Nattagarn says she’s not sure her place of work will be able to cope if the current situation continues and more cases flow over the border.

“We’re serving as a frontline defence against transmission of disease. But we need to make sure that we won’t create a humanitarian crisis at the same time.”

The medic says critically ill patients are arriving from neighbouring Myanmar and the hospital cannot turn them away. However, medical staff need to ensure they observe strict hygiene measures to avoid becoming infected and spreading the virus in Thailand.

The Bangkok Post reports that officials continue to capture illegal migrants attempting to enter the country without being screened for Covid-19. It’s understood many are anxious to get to work in the Kingdom but try to avoid the mandatory 14 day quarantine.

Nattagarn says the presence of hundreds of thousands of people in the border areas is placing a huge burden on hospitals in the area. It’s thought there are around 300,000 Thais and 300,000 Burmese in the border areas of the Mae Sot district alone. The hospital says it’s struggling under the workload of normal cases from the surge in population, let alone any additional Covid-19 patients.

“The hospital workload here in this border area is two to three times heavier than anywhere else.”

The following hospitals are all accepting donations of both cash and supplies: Mae Sot Hospital, Tha Song Yang Hospital, Mae Ramat Hospital, Phop Phra Hospital, Umphang Hospital.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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