Bangkok hospitals could run out of beds in a week amid record Covid numbers, and nationwide within three weeks.
Thailand found 2,070 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, a new single-day record and the first time that the daily number of cases surpassed 2,000 since the pandemic began. Concern is growing over hospital beds, with only 1,000 currently available across the country. At the current infection rates, medical facilities in the capital are set to be fully occupied within the next six to eight days, and country-wide within 19 days, an official said. “This was a new high for this round of outbreak, the highest we ever had,” said Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). “The total number of cases since the pandemic began also surpassed 50,000 today.” Of the new cases, 1,902 were found via tests at medical facilitates, 160 via proactive tests at known clusters and eight in quarantine facilities. Of the 2,062 local cases, the highest numbers by province were 740 in Bangkok, followed by 237 in Chiang Mai, 125 in Chonburi, 79 in Samut Prakan, 69 in Nakhon Ratchasima, 48 in Samut Sakhon, 44 in Prachuap Khiri Khan, 41 in Pathum Thani, 38 in Surat Thani and 35 in Rayong. The new finding brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began last year to 50,183. Of those, 30,189 have recovered from the infection and 121 have died. The third wave, which began at entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, has led to 21,320 cases and 27 deaths since April 1. Cr.ThaiEnquirer #Covid #Covid19 #Thailand #Mindsth The top five hardest-hit provinces in the third wave are Bangkok with 5,515 confirmed cases since April 1 followed by 2,834 in Chiang Mai, 1,665 in Chonburi, 941 in Prachuap Khiri Khan and 905 in Samut Prakan. Shortage of hospital beds There are now 19,873 patients being treated in medical facilities. Of those, 15,642 are being treated at private and public hospitals while 4,231 patients are being treated at field hospitals and hospitels (hotel beds that have been converted to hospital beds). Of the total patients, 352 are in critical condition including 91 on ventilators. Taweesin said Bangkok, the hardest-hit province, has 331 intensive care (ICU) beds, with 262 currently occupied and 69 available. For the entire country, there are around 28,000 hospital beds. Only 1,000 are now available, which would only last for another 19 days based on the latest infection rate. “If there are 1,500 cases per day, there will be the need to use around 52 beds per day and of that, 10 to 13 will be needed in Bangkok,” Taweesin said. “At this rate, the available beds in the capital will be full within the next six to eight days,” he said. Thailand has been recording around 1,500 new cases per day since April 2015. “With 1,000 available beds left in the country, that would last [overall] for another 19 days,” he added. Taweesin said the government has set up hotlines for people who are looking for a hospital bed. There are currently 1,423 infected people waiting at home for a hospital bed to become available. “We are trying our best to find beds for them,” he said. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Ministry of Public Health are now adding more ICU beds to existing facilities and they are looking to set up field ICU beds at field hospitals, he added. Taweesin also said there will be no curfew and the restriction measures such as the shutting down of entertainment venues and earlier closing hours for other businesses will remain. There are now nine major clusters around the country, consisting of entertainment venues in Bangkok and Songkhla, an event in Phuket, a football match in Nakhon Si Thammarat, entertainment venues in Chonburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sa Kaeo and Chiang Mai, and a prison in Narathiwat.
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