Governor confident Bangkok has enough beds

Governor confident Bangkok has enough beds

LYING IN WAIT: Beds are put up inside the Rachapiphat Hospital run by the City Hall, which has turned part of its ward into a field hospital to care for the growing number of Covid-19 sufferers.
LYING IN WAIT: Beds are put up inside the Rachapiphat Hospital run by the City Hall, which has turned part of its ward into a field hospital to care for the growing number of Covid-19 sufferers.

The capital has sufficient beds to cope with the recent spike in Covid-19 linked to the Thong Lor area cluster, according to Bangkok governor Aswin Khwanmuang.

Pol Gen Aswin said Bangkok has the capacity to treat the growing number of Covid-19 patients from entertainment venues as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has prepared the groundwork for the setting up of field hospitals since the first wave last year.

Facilities include the City Hall-run Rachapiphat Hospital with 200 field hospital beds, he said, while another 500 beds are available at the Bang Khun Thian Geriatric Hospital.

Bangkok plans to install 10,000 field-hospital beds, a health official said, as the country strains to cope with a third wave of Covid-19 infections. (Reuters video)

A field hospital in Bang Bon district will be opened on April 13 with 200 beds and the Bangkok Arena sports stadium can also double as a field facility offering 350 beds, Pol Gen Aswin said. If needed, the BMA will ask hotels to set rooms aside for patients, he added.

Chawin Sirinak, deputy city clerk, said the BMA is tracking infections and plans to vaccinate as many at-risk people as possible.

Dr Chawin said the BMA has set up vaccination points at a sports ground in Watthana district and Wat Nimmanoradi temple in Bang Khae district to speed up the vaccination process for up to 1,500 people per day. The BMA, he said, has ordered the temporary closure of night clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours to contain the virus.

If people cooperate with health measures, infections can quickly be brought under control, Dr Chawin said.

Suksan Kittisupakorn, director of the BMA's Medical Service Department, said it is cooperating with medical networks, the Department of Medical Services, the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools and the Private Hospital Association to find more space for field hospitals.

The BMA has secured 5,000 beds, Dr Suksan said. It is expected to designate beds for patients based on the severity of their symptoms.

The Bangkok cluster was identified amid Songkran celebrations taking place across the kingdom. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has warned that infections from the cluster are quickly spreading in many parts of the country.

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