Virus crisis fears rise

Virus crisis fears rise

A medical worker is on duty at a field hospital set up for Covid-19 patients at the Bangkok Arena in Nong Chok district on June 16. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A medical worker is on duty at a field hospital set up for Covid-19 patients at the Bangkok Arena in Nong Chok district on June 16. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Thursday said the country's public health system will not collapse despite the number of hospital beds and health personnel being at critically low levels.

"The ministry will not allow the public health system to collapse. No one should use this term. We must work together to improve the situation," Mr Anutin said.

Several senior doctors had said the Covid-19 outbreak situation was critical with some suggesting the government should impose a lockdown in the capital for seven days.

A doctor at Ramathibodi Hospital posted on Facebook that: "ICU [intensive care unit] beds are fully occupied. We have to begin to choose who will go on them, and who shouldn't. Don't let your guard down. Precautions are always important."

Another doctor posted on Facebook on Thursday that Chulalongkorn General Hospital had suspended Covid-19 testing for four days from Sunday because of bed and medical personnel shortages.

He said numerous patients came to the hospital after their condition deteriorated since they had been refused admission at other hospitals due to bed and staff shortages there too.

Responding to the suggestion that Bangkok be locked down for seven days, Mr Anutin said the proposal was worth listening to, but it must be weighed carefully.

Mr Anutin insisted he had not received reports that some hospitals have stopped testing for Covid-19 due to bed shortages even though the news has gone viral on social media.

A doctor at the Department of Medical Services said there were only 23 beds at state hospitals left for Covid-19 patients suffering severe symptoms.

The situation is expected to worsen if the number of new cases continues to soar at the current rate, the said.


  • collapse: (of people and business) to fail suddenly; to suddenly be unable to continue or work correctly - ล้ม (ธุรกิจ)
  • crisis: a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point - ช่วงวิกฤต
  • critical (adj): (of a bad situation) very serious or dangerous - รุนแรง  วิกฤต
  • deteriorated: became worse - ทรุดโทรม, เสื่อมโทรม, เลวลง, ชำรุด
  • ICU (noun): the department of a hospital for people who are so ill or badly injured that they need to have special medical care and be watched very closely - ห้องดูแลผู้ป่วยหนักในโรงพยาบาล
  • let your guard down: to not be careful or prepared for something difficult or dangerous -
  • personnel: the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
  • precaution: an action taken to protect people or things against possible harm or trouble - การป้องกันไว้ก่อน
  • shortages (noun): when there is not enough of certain things - การขาดแคลน
  • suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
  • viral: (of a video, photo, story, etc.) spread across the internet very quickly (like a virus spreading a disease) as people share it with their friends or the news media reports on it - แพร่กระจายผ่านทางอินเทอร์เน็ตอย่างรวดเร็ว
  • weigh: to consider something carefully before making a decision - ชั่งน้ำหนัก, พิจารณา
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