THE Public Health Ministry said early this morning (May 13) that over the past 24 hours there were 4,887 new coronavirus cases, with 2,835 being in prisons and 2,052 among the general populace, while the Klong Toey cluster has now grown to 1,146 cases, Siam Rath newspaper said.
The daily death toll remained consistently high at 32, taking the cumulative toll to 518. As many as 424 fatalities took place during the current third wave of infection that started early last month.
The big jump in the number of new cases took the cumulative confirmed total to 90,959 with the third wave total being 64,891.
Meanwhile the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) said another 292 coronavirus cases had been found in the Klong Toey slum community taking the total here to 1,146, or 5.34%, TV Channel 7 said.
The latest data on proactive drive at this slum community that started on April 27 shows that altogether 26,799 residents had undergone swab tests with 20,304 testing negative while the results of 5,349 are awaited.
In a related development, the Corrections Department said the 2,835 inmates found to be infected with coronavirus were at two main prisons in Bangkok – the Bangkok Remand Prison and the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, NNT said.
Department Director-General Aryut Sinthoppan said active case finding conducted on prison officials and inmates found that 1,795 detainees at Bangkok Remand Prison and 1,040 at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution were infected with the Covid-19 virus.
He said most of them were being treated at the field hospitals set up at the two prisons or at the Corrections Hospital. Others, in a more severe condition, were admitted to other hospitals outside.
Aryut said the Corrections Department has ordered all correctional facilities to set up an area for quarantine and a field hospital, with doctors and nurses on duty to provide treatment to the infected inmates. The department also plans to inoculate all detainees, and is only waiting for an allocation of vaccines.
Meanwhile one of the protest leaders still detained in prison has got infected with coronavirus, Amarin TV said.
Mr. Noraset Na Nongtum, an attorney at the Lawyers for Human Rights Centre, confirmed that Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike Rayong, had got infected with this fearful disease in prison.
“On May 11, 2021 we asked the court to question Mike through the video conference system or in another room not the courtroom, but the court said this would not be possible so Mike was sent back to prison,” he said.
“Today we found out he has got infected in prison and we don’t know what condition he is in.”
The team of lawyers will again today submit a request to the court for a bail hearing via video conference. If this is granted Mike would be able to leave prison and get treatment at a hospital outside.
If not then he would have to remain in prison and face his fate with there being a heavy outbreak there.
Importantly, Mike has been suffering from asthma for six to seven years now.
Top: A house in a Bangkok slum. Photo: Sam Sherratt (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Home Page: A prisoner in his cell. Photo: NNT