THE Public Health Ministry revealed today (April 17) that there are approximately 600 coronavirus patients waiting for hospital beds at home in Bangkok with today’s 99 new cases adding to 505 pending from before, TV Channel 7 said this afternoon.
They are expected to be moved to field hospitals within a day or two as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has made arrangements to add 2,926 more beds.
The ministry advised those travelling to a field hospital privately to seat the patient at the back if the vehicle is a pickup truck.
If they are coming in a sedan, the patient should sit at the back and both the patient and the driver should wear double face masks and not turn on the air-conditioner.
Moreover the journey should not last more than 30 minutes.
BMA is also rushing to sign up hotels that are willing to be turned into hospitels.
Dr. Thares Kratsanai Rawiwong, director-general of the Department of Health Service Support, said his agency has approved the fast-tracking of linking hospitels to hospitals with 34 linkups approved so far bringing in 4,000 beds.
Hospitels would help free up hospital beds for patients with complex symptoms.
His department is also inspecting various clinics and laboratories that test patients for coronavirus and then leave them to seek treatment on their own. They have to give consultation and refer these patients for treatment.
Some clinics and labs have already been punished for doing this and their licence will be revoked if they repeat the offence.
Meanwhile Dr Chalerm Harnphanich, president of the Private Hospital Association, said that the group has expanded the number of beds to 665 from 300 previously. When combined with hospitels, 1,600 beds are available.
However with 250-300 patients being admitted everyday, in addition to those placed on 14-day quarantine, this has necessitated a large increase in the number of beds.
Asymptomatic patients are placed in hospitels but it has been found the patients are developing pneumonia faster and have to be moved to hospital for treatment leading to a chaotic situation.
However when their symptoms improve they are moved back to hospitels.
Top: A shared room in a hospital.
Home Page: A field hospital. Photos: NNT