Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Asymptomatic or mild Covid-19 cases to isolate at home or community facilities


From July 12, Covid-19 patients with no or only mild symptoms in Bangkok and surrounding provinces will be cared for in home isolation or community isolation. These include 2,500 patients who called the 1330 hotline of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and have not yet been allotted hospital beds.

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NHSO secretary-general Dr Jadej Thammathach-aree said home and community isolation is a recent public health measure to handle the shortage of hospital beds and influx of patients amid the rising daily caseload.

In recent months, the NHSO hotline has been a contact point for coronavirus patients to book hospital beds. But many patients calling the hotline are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms (classified as “green”) which can be treated at home under the guidance of medical staff.

Admitting all of them to hospitals would exhaust public health resources and medical staff while lowering the chances for patients with moderate and severe symptoms (classified as yellow and red, respectively) to access care and hospital facilities.

From now on, patients in the green category will be placed into home or community isolation. The latter operates in facilities – including temple buildings and community halls – set up and managed by local communities.

Patients will be cared for by medical staff from 204 community or private clinics partnered with the NHSO. Each clinic can look after 200 patients.

Clinic staff will contact the patients within 48 hours of calling the NHSO hotline, then deliver thermometers, oxygen saturation monitors, and green chiretta (fah talai jone) capsules to treat fever.

They will also closely monitor patients via video calls while also delivering three meals a day to each patient at home or in community isolation facilities.

Clinic staff will assist in transferring patients to hospitals if their condition deteriorates. These patients will receive Favipiravir while waiting for the transfer.

“Home and community isolation will help Covid-19 patients access care and medicines faster. It’s better than leaving them in uncertainty while waiting for hospital beds,” said Dr Jadej.

In addition, the NHSO, Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control, and Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medical Technology have worked together to launch a rapid antigen test service at several locations across Bangkok from July 14.

The service has capacity to test 10,000 people per day. Anyone who tests positive and has mild or no symptoms will be sent into home or community isolation.

Published : July 23, 2021

By : The Nation