Govt warns of Covid-19 threat from family members at home
The government is warning that Covid-19 can be contracted within people's own homes after significant transmissions were recorded among family members over the past seven days.
As many as 144, or 29%, of the 495 new infections reported between April 4 and 10 are people who were in close contact with existing patients and "up to 56% in this group contracted the virus from family members, especially spouses", Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Saturday.
The second-highest amount of transmissions, 23%, occurred in workplaces, followed by 18% at social gatherings and 3% from other sources.
Two new deaths were also reported on Saturday -- a 36-year-old Thai man working at a pawnshop and a 65-year-old Thai man who worked as a cleaner in Bangkok, Dr Taweesilp said, adding that the total fatalities from Covid-19 now stands at 35.
Dr Taweesilp reiterated the need to strictly follow instructions to slow down the spread of the disease because the country has limited medical resources.
"They may need to sit on different sofas while watching TV together," he said, referring to the recommended social distancing measures.
Nithiphat Chiankun, chief of the respiratory medicine department at Siriraj Hospital, posted on his Facebook on Saturday that authorities are planning to boost virus-specific ICU bed numbers in Bangkok from 80 to 200 by May.
Meanwhile hospitals located upcountry, which are currently equipped with only 40 such beds, will also expand their capacity to 200, he added.
According to the CCSA, new Covid-19 cases fell for the third consecutive day to 45, bringing up the total number of infections to 2,528 -- 1,135 of whom have been discharged.
Of the new cases, nine were among people in state quarantine -- eight Thai returnees from Indonesia and one from the US.
Meanwhile, Krabi officials will provide Covid-19 patients who report to the hospital and are open about their symptoms 500 baht each daily until they recover.
So far, dozens of hospital personnel have been infected or quarantined because some patients failed to disclose symptoms or that they were in a high-risk group for infection.