Tue, August 16, 2022

in-focus

Doctors warn of new Covid wave in Thailand, hospitals told to be ready


Hospitals across the nation should be prepared to deal with a new Covid-19 wave, the Rural Doctors Society (RDS) said in a Facebook post on Monday citing the Public Health Ministry’s recent announcement.

The ministry issued a directive recently urging hospitals to prepare medical equipment and supplies for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms and be ready for patient transfers. 

The healthcare system has also been urged to speed up the administration of booster doses among medical staff and citizens, as well as cooperate with related agencies on implementing plans to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

“Everyone should be careful,” RDS advised.

Meanwhile, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) expects the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital to peak by September. 

Dr Chakkarat Pittayawonganon, director of DDC’s Bureau of Epidemiology, said the number of Covid-19 patients being hospitalised has risen in Bangkok and surrounding areas, as well as in provinces popular with tourists. 

However, he said, the hospital bed occupancy rate is at 20 to 30 per cent, far lower than the 50-per cent limit. He also said there is plenty of medical supplies to treat all Covid-19 patients. 

“There will be a small Covid-19 wave from July 1, pushing up the number of patients requiring treatment,” he said. 

Thailand lifted all restrictions on July 1, including Thailand Pass for foreigners.

To prevent the situation from getting out of hand, he advised people to continue wearing facemasks in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, especially elderly people aged 60 and above, pregnant women and those with underlying diseases. 

“Vulnerable people should receive their booster shots to reduce the risk of severe symptoms and death,” he added. 

Separately, Dr Nithipat Jearakul, chief of Siriraj Hospital's Department of Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis, urged the government to reveal the actual number of Covid-19 cases and asked people to be ready for a new wave. 

He said the actual number of Covid cases had risen to 50,000 per day last week, far higher than the number released by the Public Health Ministry. 

The ministry reported 1,917 new Covid-19 cases and 18 deaths on Tuesday.

“If the government does not contain the spread of Covid-19, the number of patients who develop severe symptoms and deaths will rise,” he said. 

In a related report, Bunyawat Witthayalai School in Lampang’s Muang district is holding online classes after many students, teachers and school officials tested positive for Covid-19.

Published : July 05, 2022

By : THE NATION