Covid causing bed shortages

Covid causing bed shortages

Covid-19 tests being administered at a makeshift site outside Bo Be Tower on Damrongrak Road in Bangkok's Pomprap Sattruphai district on Tuesday. The mobile unit is part of proactive screening in the district where clusters of infections among migrant workers have been reported. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Covid-19 tests being administered at a makeshift site outside Bo Be Tower on Damrongrak Road in Bangkok's Pomprap Sattruphai district on Tuesday. The mobile unit is part of proactive screening in the district where clusters of infections among migrant workers have been reported. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Beds designated for patients in critical condition at all state-run hospitals in Bangkok are now fully occupied by Covid-19 infected patients with severe symptoms.

Under current circumstances, infected patients' access to hospital beds with life-saving equipment has become extremely limited, said Dr Somsak Akksilp, director-general of the Department of Medical Services.

The hospital bed shortage situation is of particular concern now, especially since demand for this specific type of hospital bed in the so-called yellow and red groups is high, he said.

Patients in the yellow group are those with moderate symptoms who run risk of developing a severe condition, while patients in the red group are already exhibiting serious symptoms, Dr Somsak said.

Over the past couple of months, Bangkok and its surrounding provinces have continued to record more than 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 infections per day, which has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of infected patients in both the yellow and red groups, he said.

As of Monday, all 409 hospital beds for patients with serious symptoms were fully occupied by Covid-19 patients in critical condition. The last 20 beds were reserved for emergency Covid-19 patients urgently requiring an operation or other serious medical interventions, Dr Somsak added.

Only about 300 hospital beds for patients in the yellow group are available as 3,937 others are already occupied, he said.

The limited number of hospital beds is stalling the work of medical personnel tasked with finding beds for patients who need to be urgently admitted to hospital for treatment, especially in the capital, he said.

Clinical Professor Dr Adune Ratanawichitrasin, a deputy dean at the Faculty of Medicine of Siriraj Hospital, meanwhile warned in a Facebook post that the Covid-19 outbreak in Bangkok is reaching a critical point.

Hospitals are being flooded with an overwhelming number of Covid-19 patients again, in a situation similar to the serious hospital bed shortage that happened late last month, he said.

"Worse, the source of infection for numerous new Covid-19 cases cannot be clearly identified, which is an indicator the virus has taken hold in many communities," he said.

He urged decision-makers at all levels to pay more attention to the problem before it gets out of control.

Vocabulary

  • critical condition: very seriously ill or injured and might die - อาการหนัก
  • designated: marked, separated, or given a name for a particular purpose - ถูกกำหนด
  • exhibit (verb): to show -
  • intervention: becoming involved in a situation in order to try to stop or change it - การแทรกแซง
  • moderate: neither very great nor very small in strength, size, amount or degree - ระดับปานกลาง
  • numerous: many - มากมาย
  • personnel: the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
  • sharp: sudden and rapid, especially of a change in something - ฉับพลัน, กะทันหัน
  • shortages (noun): when there is not enough of certain things - การขาดแคลน
  • state-run (adj): government controlled or managed - ของรัฐ
  • task with: to give someone a particular job, responsibility, etc. - ให้งาน
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