Bangkok to open 6 isolation centres for children as Omicron surge looms
Bangkok will open six isolation centres for young children in preparation for the surge in Omicron cases expected this month.
Dr Somsak Akkasilp, chief of the Medical Service Department, said children under the age of 11 are vulnerable to catching the infectious Omicron variant as they are not yet vaccinated. His department is now cooperating with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to open community isolation centres for infected children and their families, Somsak said.
The BMA has been asked to open one family isolation centre in each of its six zones.
Somsak said the variant mostly causes only mild disease, so most children could be safely cared for in isolation centres.
The department has also prepared 100 hospital beds for children who develop serious Covid symptoms.
Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry is worried that Omicron will spark new clusters in factories, said Somsak.
Owners of infection-hit factories will be asked to set up isolation centres at their factories or inside workers camps, he added. The BMA will also be asked to set up at least one isolation centre for immigrant workers in the capital – and one any or all six zones if required.
The Medical Services Department chief insisted that hospitals would be able to cope with any Omicron surge. Most people infected with the new strain people had not developed severe symptoms so could isolate at home, he said.
Only 20 per cent of Thailand’s 100,000 available beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to Somsak. This left enough remaining beds to cope with a worst-case scenario of 30,000 new cases per day, he added.