Race to finish field hospital, more planned
Samut Sakhon: Workers were Sunday racing against time to transform the provincial stadium in Muang district into a field hospital with a capacity of 540 beds.
According to the plan, the field hospital will open to care for some of the 4,000 Myanmar workers who are under quarantine in the Central Shrimp Market area which is the epidemic centre. The 14-day quarantine will end today.
If tests find no or just small amount of immunity in the quarantined workers, they will be sent there.
But if they already have immunity, they can enjoy the freedom outside the quarantined area.
The giant tents include at least 24 toilets, and relaxation zones with TV and free WiFi. The relaxation areas will be under the surveillance of close-circuit cameras.
Symptoms of those infected with Covid-19 will be monitored here.
Doctors will use telemedicine technologies (no contact with the ill) to check on patients who develop stronger symptoms, before deciding whether to send them to hospital or let them be treated in the zone set aside for the infected.
Zones are identified: simply monitored, mild symptoms, and more severe symptoms.
In principle, the workers are expected to stay at the field hospital for 14 days.
Samut Sakhon governor Verasak Vichitsangsri said the province is now ready to open the field hospital, adding he is confident the place is safe and will contain the outbreak.
"The field hospital is in front of my house so I am confident that it is 1,000% safe," Mr Verasak said. "It is a key factor indicating the province's success to control the virus.
"We are now on the right track to control the disease, in which the number of infections has reduced from 44% to 12% [of those tested] on average. But the number is still high from eight cases [in the beginning] to over 1,000 cases now."
The province has faced a long delay to set up the field hospital, originally in the Central Shrimp Market area, due to protests by locals who feared disease transmission to their community.
Along with creating a better understanding, the province will announce regulations paving the way to have more field hospitals.
At least three field hospitals will need to be set up, the governor said.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul inspected the field hospital and visited the Central Shrimp Market on Sunday. He was welcomed by the Myanmar workers.
A representative voiced appreciation to the medical team taking care of them and promised not to escape the quarantine.