Thailand has enough hospital beds in case of Omicron surge
Thailand’s health system has the capacity to treat up to 50,000 Covid-19 patients per day, which is higher than the Department of Disease Control (DDC) estimation of 30,000 daily infections in the worst-case scenario due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Department of Medical Services chief Dr Somsak Ankasil said on Wednesday.
The DDC earlier estimated that Covid-19 cases would surge between 10,000 and 30,000 infections per day after the New Year holidays as people who had visited their hometowns return to big cities to resume working.
The Public Health Ministry reported on Thursday morning that in the past 24 hours there were 5,775 new Covid-19 patients, while 11 have died.
“Public health facilities in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, where we expect a surge in Omicron cases, can treat up to 8,000 Covid-19 patients per day,” he said.
“Bangkok has up to 11,000 beds available for patients with severe symptoms, 6,000 beds for level 2 patients, and 5,000 beds for level 3 patients.”
Somsak also said the Department of Medical Services had ordered public health offices in each province to prepare home and community isolation systems for patients with no symptoms, which will be the largest group among Omicron infections.
“From the statistics of Omicron cases in Thailand, 48 per cent are asymptomatic, while 41 per cent have mild symptoms,” Somsak pointed out. “These patients can be treated at isolation centres and will not require hospital beds,” he said.
“If you perform a self-test with an antigen test kit [ATK] and the result turns up positive for Covid-19, contact National Health Security Office hotline 1330. Officials will evaluate your symptoms before sending you for suitable treatment,” Somsak said, adding: “If you, however, display severe Covid-19 symptoms, contact hotline 1669 for emergency service.”