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Thailand’s healthcare sector may become overwhelmed with increasing Covid infections

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Thailand’s healthcare sector could get overwhelmed with the increasing number of daily Covid-19 infections. Today, the country is reporting the highest amount of daily infections at 2,070 with 4 deaths, leading many to wonder if the nation will have enough medical facilities to treat Covid patients. Recently, health authorities have began responding more to the situation by launching additional field hospitals and “hospitels“, (hotels that have turned into temporary hospitals).

But, the CCSA has announced that 146 medics have been infected with the virus, with 33 being infected at work. Now, team members who worked closely with those medics that were infected are having to leave the frontlines to undergo quarantine. But the director-general of the Medical Services Department is allaying concerns for now, as he says the number of infections is still far too small to put pressure on medical facilities.

He says there are about 400,000 medical workers under the Public Health Ministry. And, if you count private hospital staff, the number is estimated to be about 700,000. As for the field hospitals and hospitels, he says that they only require small medical teams, with a ratio of 1 nurse to 20 patients.

He warned, however, that medical services in some areas may be affected if a sizeable number of their employees become infected or is forced to go into quarantine. For example, more than 100 medical personnel in Udon Thani province have recently been quarantined due to risk of infection.

Thailand currently has 20,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, which is far from the amount of available medical personnel to treat them. However, if the ongoing wave of Covid-19 infections continues, the collapse of the healthcare sector may be unavoidable as medics will also have to treat patients with other diseases. An opposition MP and medical doctor, recently warned that if the country’s medical sector becomes overwhelmed, it would not just be Covid patients that would die, but others who are denied treatment for other diseases.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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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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