ICU beds filling up as Covid infections surge

ICU beds filling up as Covid infections surge

Bangkok could run out in one week

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, explains the situation regarding ICU beds for Covid-19 patients, during his daily briefing from Government House on Friday. (Screenshot)
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, explains the situation regarding ICU beds for Covid-19 patients, during his daily briefing from Government House on Friday. (Screenshot)

The Public Health Ministry is racing to increase the number of intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients as the rate of infection soars, with ICU units filling up.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Friday that Bangkok had 262 beds in intensive care units, and 69 of them were unoccupied.

If Covid infections continued to rise by 1,500 a day, all ICU beds in Bangkok would be occupied in 6-8 days.

"The one-week bed reserve is considered to be insufficient. Bangkok has very little time left," the spokesman said, after announcing 2,070 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in the previous 24 hours.

The Public Health Ministry was trying its best to increase the number of ICU beds. More beds could be added in existing ICUs, which might be expanded. Other patients might be moved out of existing ICU beds and field ICUs could be built, Dr Taweesilp said.

He said there were about 1,000 ICU beds nationwide and if infections rose by 1,500 a day, they would all be occupied in 19 days.

"Impacts are certain, and the end result remains unpredictable," the spokesman said.

He said that 1,423 Covid-19 cases were waiting for hospital beds.

"The problem is weighty... Please be patient. Officials are trying their best to increase the number of beds," Dr Taweesilp said.

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