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200+ teams go door-to-door to find Covid-19 around Bangkok



PHOTO: The army and national police will go door-to-door offering free Covid-19 tests. (via Mufid Majnun/Unsplash)

As Covid-19 infections continue to surge in Thailand, passing the 5-figure 10,000 mark for daily infections today, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has deployed over 200 teams to do door-to-door Covid-19 testing in the most at-risk areas of Bangkok. The rapid deployment troops will be made up of a coalition of national police and Thailand armed forces, and the teams are attempting to locate and isolate Covid-19 infections before they can spread further. This is an expansion of 69 teams launched just 2 days ago.

The teams will be knocking on doors in Bangkok and its 5 surrounding provinces that are designated as dark red zones and will offer free Covid-19 tests to everyone. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be sent to a field hospital if they are affected by symptoms. Information suggested but did not confirm that asymptomatic infections uncovered would stay in at-home quarantine.

Contact tracing will be done on infected people, with anyone found to be at risk asked to self-isolate and keep a close eye on their health and condition. Should anyone develop strong symptoms, the task force teams will provide fever-reducing medication and traditional Thai herbal medicines made from green chiretta that is thought to fight Covid-19 symptoms.

The Internal Security Operations Command is also working with PM Prayut on a plan to deal with Bangkok’s hospital bed shortage as more cases are uncovered. In addition to supplying personnel for the door-to-door Covid-19 testing efforts in the area, the armed forces will also provide vehicles, facilities and logistics to move people once they are diagnosed with the virus.

A new plan would make arrangements for people identified to be infected with Covid-19 to be transported by these teams out of Bangkok and back to their home provinces, especially in areas with much lower Coronavirus infection rates. While the hospital bed situation in Bangkok is critical, many provinces with less cases, have plenty of facilities with beds available to safely treat Covid-19 infections.

Officials did say this program was strictly voluntary for those who have hometown connections and family they could return to and be treated. No Covid-19 response teams would be forcibly “deporting” anyone from Bangkok.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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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.

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