Stadiums primed to take in Covid-19 cases

Stadiums primed to take in Covid-19 cases

Field hospitals gear up as infections soar

Officials prepare a new field hospital at Bangkok Arena in Nong Chok district, Bangkok, last Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Officials prepare a new field hospital at Bangkok Arena in Nong Chok district, Bangkok, last Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Bangkok's main sports stadiums and training facilities have been selected to be transformed into new Covid-19 field hospitals, as the number of new infections continues to rise, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.

Among them are Nimibutr sports building of the Physical Education Department in Pathumwan district, the Sports Authority of Thailand's indoor sports training centre in Bang Kapi district, Rajamangala National Stadium in Bang Kapi district, and the Huamark Indoor Stadium also in Bang Kapi, he said.

He was speaking during a trip to inspect the Nimibutr building in the National Stadium of Thailand. He was accompanied by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The facilities for initially be repurposed to accommodate those who have caught the virus but are only suffering from mild symptoms, he said.

The army, meanwhile, revealed it already has opened three Covid-19 field hospitals in Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Songkhla and is preparing to dispatch more medical units to work in rotation at City Hall's field hospitals.

These three first field hospitals are now being operated by the Public Health Ministry while at least four more will later be placed in the ministry's hands to run, said Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman for the army.

As of Sunday, 246 out of 300 beds offered at the First Air Defence Regiment in Laksi district of Bangkok were occupied, she said.

The second field hospital, at the army's Infantry Centre in Prachuap Khiri Khan, has 100 spaces, 31 of which were already occupied, she added.

And at the 5th Infantry Regiment in Songkhla, 36 out of its 100 beds were occupied as of Monday, she said.

The four other field hospitals the army plans to open next are in Krabi, Songkhla, Lop Buri and Nonthaburi.

In addition to these field hospitals for civilians, the army has set up a separate unit in the Kiakkai area of Bangkok specifically for military personnel and their families.

This unit was currently looking after 101 patients who had been discharged from Phramongkutklao Hospital after Covid-19 treatment but still needed supervision in their recovery, she said.

The army has also assigned two teams of 19 doctors work in rotation at Covid-19 field hospitals in Bangkok along with 10 vehicles to help transport patients from their homes.

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