First Covid-19 field hospital opens Wednesday

First Covid-19 field hospital opens Wednesday

14-storey dormitory turned into 308-bed facility for non-critical patients

The DLuxxx dormitory has been transformed into the first Covid-19 hospital at Thammasat Univerity's Rangsit Campus in Pathum Thani. (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)
The DLuxxx dormitory has been transformed into the first Covid-19 hospital at Thammasat Univerity's Rangsit Campus in Pathum Thani. (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)

Thammasat University Hospital will on Wednesday open Thailand’s first field hospital for non-critical coronavirus patients at the university’s Rangsit campus.

The Dluxx dormitory in the Asean Games zone of the campus has been modified into the 308-bed facility, said Prof Suraphol Nitikraipot, chairman of the executive board of the hospital.

The project is a collaboration of five teaching hospitals — Siriraj, Ramathibodi, Chulalongkorn, Vajira and Thammasat — to alleviate congestions at existing facilities after a recent jump in the number of patients.

Asst Prof Parinya Thewanaruemitkul, vice rector of Thammasat University, said the new facility would serve only patients who had been treated by and transferred from the four other hospitals since it did not have an intensive care unit nor the equipment to handle critical patients. 

The first 10 patients will be transferred from Ramathibodi Hospital to Thammasat University Hospital on Monday evening. They will be temporarily put in the hospital’s 60-bed Covid-19 ward and later transferred to the field facility when it opens on Wednesday.

Each room in the 14-storey dormitory is already equipped with an air-conditioner and bathroom, and there are closed-circuit cameras on each storey, said Assoc Prof Gasinee Witoonchart, rector of Thammasat University.

“We are improving sanitary and patient-monitoring systems, and installing closed-circuit cameras in some rooms for critical patients,” she added.

Thammasat University will be responsible for recruiting the medical team and may seek help from other teaching universities in the future, she said.

The hospital is seeking donations from the public to buy urgently needed medical equipment, N95 and PPE suits through bank transfers.

The Public Health Ministry reported 122 new coronavirus cases on Monday, raising the total to 721.

The interior of a room at the building.

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