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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Hotel Association pushes “hospitels” – hotels as hospitals

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Artist rendering of a "hospitel" - a hotel converted to a hospital.

With the third wave of Covid-19 ripping through Thailand, hospitals are rapidly filling up and the Thai Hotels Association has proposed “hospitels” as a creative solution. The portmanteau of “hospital” and “hotel” is the THA’s brainchild for creating more space for the growing number of Covid-19 infections that require treatment or at least observation as Thailand hits record daily case numbers. The idea of turning hotels into temporary hospitals was promoted by association president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi this week.

“The move aims to reduce crowdedness at hospitals and promote continuous care for Covid-19 patients after new cases increased rapidly since late March.”

23 hotels have already registered to be hospitals, with 2,000 patients currently receiving treatment in the 4,900 available beds. The Ministry of Public Health laid out guidelines for hotels interested in participating. Hotels must have a minimum of 30 rooms and pass the alternative state quarantine evaluation. The ASQ-approved properties must have evidence of acknowledgement by the surrounding community to confirm their validity and eligibility. The hotel must be able and willing to take care of hospitalised patients for 5 to 7 days, even with no signs of symptom progression. Conversely, patients checking in must agree to stay in the hotel and be relatively self-sufficient.

Strict medical requirements must be met as well. Each patient must be provided with their own digital thermometer and pulse oximeter, and a portable x-ray machine must be available. The hotels must be staffed like hospitals, with at least one doctor, a clinical psychologist, a pharmacist, a radiologist, and an infection control nurse. There must also be one nurse per every 20 patients staying at the property.

This proposed solution might provide a welcomed supplement to the rudimentary field hospitals the Thai army has been hastily building to accommodate the influx of newly infected patients. While the quick work is commendable, some have hypothesized that at-risk foreigners may be ignoring calls to come forward for Covid-19 testing in part because being diagnosed may land them in these less-than-posh field hospitals for days on end. A more comfortable “hospitel” would allow infected foreigners to be treated in more pleasant surroundings thus encouraging them to come forward for testing.

SOURCE: National News Bureau and Nation Thailand

 

 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Yes but have you studied the lastest outcomes from Australian studies into the airborne nature of Covid 19?? Have the ventilation systems of these places been examined? If not you will only expose people and spread the virus. Thailand hasn’t had the experiences we have had in hotel quarantine. Ventilation systems, unless they are examined and replaced only spread the virus to everyone in the hotel. I don’t want Thailand to make the same mistakes we did.

  2. Avatar

    Craig

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Filling up hotels im sure thats a inflated…

  3. Avatar

    Steve369.

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    We live in a red zone (4th on the list) and my wife has been very sick for a week now. She presented herself to the government hospital and was simply asked if she had attended a night club in Bangkok to which she answered no. Diagnosis was go away you don’t have covid, didn’t even check her temperature. I insisted she have a covid test today in a private hospital. Results due in 72hrs.

  4. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Good idea: win-win.

    Field hospitals free for Thais / foreigners with Social Security and at a minimal cost for foreigners (a couple of hundred baht a day, all found, like a government hospital, or less), then “VIP” rooms in government hospitals, then hospitels and international hospitals for anyone who wants more and wants to pay more.

    Great stuff. Well done.

  5. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    At a hospital toxic and viral exposed materials, like bloody sheets, have to be burned , is that what the hotel association has in mind for thier beds, furnishings, drapes and carpeting in order to maintain a safe and sterile environment?

  6. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Yes this will make them money, as long as they kick back to the medical staff to find patients’ infected, that are not.
    They will do because there are no second opinions.
    Another day another foul scam invented in Thailand.

  7. Avatar

    TS

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    thai hotels association’s generous proposal to create more space and it’s brainchild moniker ‘hospitels’ just reeks of desperation. no tourists will be coming so fill the rooms with the quarantined and those “under observation.”

  8. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    It is reports such as yours Steve that enforces my opinion that Thais handling of this pandemic is rubbish. They brag about how well they are doing, but the truth is different.
    As for your comment that ferangs will pay a few hundred baht a day in quarantine Small Simon.
    Do you have any sources that state that, because I very much doubt it

  9. Avatar

    TV

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Yesterday I saw a post on FB that a Thai woman in a restaurant was cleaning her spoon, knife, fork and plate with alcohol sanitiser while it was already in a little plastic bag offered to her; the world is getting more insane and scared by the day. That hotels now want to take advantage of that fact is shameless. They should support the idea that everyone who feels sick should stay at home for ten days, including their families. No hospital admissions for anyone who doesn’t feel (really) sick. This decision will take the burden off the shoulders of the healthcare workers and take away the fear of being hospitalised (tested) and taken away from your loved ones while feeling relatively ok.

  10. Avatar

    John_2

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Jerry and to all the other “COVID doesn’t kill” people – be aware that when a project like COVID or 9/11 gets run they ALWAYS run an Alt-media disinformation campaign to parallel along with it.

    Meanwhile, this time they de-platformed anyone who was REAL and was exposing some truths about COVID. These guys at Panda look and feel like controlled-opposition.
    Ask yourself why their channel on YT is still up, running and gaining view count?

  11. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 10:20 am

    “They will do because there are no second opinions”

    But there are, @toby andrews.

    Do you have any “source” for this oft-repeated claim, since you asked me for one?

    You can have as many tests as you want, and there have been several cases reported here in the Thaiger where those who tested positive chose to have another test or those whose test wasn’t definite had another test and then had that test reviewed. One was a French lady in Phuket, another more recently was an American man.

    “As for your comment that ferangs will pay a few hundred baht a day in quarantine Small Simon.
    Do you have any sources that state that, because I very much doubt it”.

    Doubt away, @andrew tobys.

    Actually it was “a couple of hundred baht” because that’s how much foreigners pay in a government hospital in a ward, full board, and a military field hospital is unlikely to be any more. A private “VIP” room in a government hospital, if available, is an additional 750 baht.

    The “source” is first hand experience – that’s how much I’ve paid in a government hospital.

    If you’ve arrived since Covid insurance was mandatory for new arrivals then you have to use a private hospital, covered by your insurance, but if you were here before you can use a government hospital as the government announced, a number of times, over a year ago.

    Any idea that as soon as you test positive a truckload of troops frogmarch you off to hospital under escort is wrong. When you’re telephoned and told, you can ask to be collected or you can drive yourself, or you can opt to go to a private hospital or now a “hospitel”. Your choice, as confirmed by the poster of the suggested “list” for those quarantining on his Facebook site.

  12. Avatar

    Ray

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised when the mandatory quarantine measure results in an averse effect on the pandemic. You are not going to catch the asymptomatic persons and the ones with light symptoms. The prospect of staying in a field hospital or expensive hotel will deter many Thai and foreigners from getting a test.

  13. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Why would “the hotel association” burn “thier beds, furnishings, drapes and carpeting in order to maintain a safe and sterile environment” when the virus only remains infectious for a maximum of three days even if it’s not cleaned, which it can be, @J West?

    Hospitals don’t, here or anywhere else.

  14. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Well I asked you for a source that foreigners pay a few hundred baht to a hospital a day in quarantine. I doubted it.
    Your reply: first hand experience. Not good enough. You have not been in quarantine have you?
    My second point is there are no second opinions.
    You say there are.
    Source please. You dispute my comment. Prove why it is wrong Small Simon.

  15. Avatar

    J West

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Simon: I would leave a WHO link related to hospital standard practice by hospitals disposing of waste. But….Thaiger doesn’t allow links attached. However, it’s east to find the information you question. I answer you with this: If you book into a hospital that merely reuses and repurposes its waste….., get out fast.

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket visitor Covid-19 rapid antigen testing may end May 15

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 rapid tests may be discontinued in Phuket. (via Wikimedia)

In a live broadcast, Phuket’s Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong said officials will consider discontinuing Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for people arriving into Phuket after May 15. The interview from the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai yesterday seems to contradict a recent statement from the governor launching additional rapid testing from today.

Entry to Phuket since April 22 has been limited for travellers from red zone provinces, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Anyone arriving without either of these would be screened on the spot with rapid antigen tests. Though originally offered for 300 baht per person, controversy arose over Thailand’s 2-tier pricing as it was announced that testing would be free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

The National Health Security Office provided 40 billion baht for testing in Phuket, allowing free testing for nationals, but as that funding is used up, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced that the testing will no longer be free for Thai people after May 15. Phuket does not have the budget for free rapid antigen testing so they will likely be forced to require payment after that date.

The current testing has seen a decline in positive Covid-19 infections, not finding any new cases for several days, prompting the government to rethink whether the current system of rapid testing those who are not vaccinated or holding a recent negative test certificate is worth the money spent.

Over 40,000 people have been tested since the program began April 22 until the current figures on May 5, with only 22 covid infections identified. Furthermore, 5 of those infections turned out to be false positives.

The vice-governor conceded that Phuket has Covid-19 outbreak problems with growing infections every day, but explains that the infections are from within the community and not from outside visitors. The latest infections stem in large part from gambling get-togethers without proper Covid-19 safety.

As of now, the rapid antigen testing will continue until the May 15 cut off, but government officials are still debating whether to continue testing and whether funding will exist for it after that date.

The NHSO has recently hinted that they will approve more funds to continue testing, a signal that had not been received before the governor’s announcement on Wednesday about the rapid antigen testing.

The vice-governor stressed that the situation is constantly evolving and that new information it’s shared frequently, and often out of local control. He urges everyone to pay attention to forthcoming announcements.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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