1,480 more prison Covid infections raise total to 11,670

1,480 more prison Covid infections raise total to 11,670

Healthcare staff from the Correctional Hospital provide free Covid-19 tests outside Bangkok Remand Prison in Bangkok on May 5. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Healthcare staff from the Correctional Hospital provide free Covid-19 tests outside Bangkok Remand Prison in Bangkok on May 5. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The Corrections Department on Tuesday reported detecting 1,408 more Covid-19 infections at seven prisons, raising the number of infected detainees at 13 prisons nationwide to 11,670.

Director-general Sitthi Suthiwong gave the breakdown of the new infections as follows:

- Thon Buri Remand Prison (342)
- Bang Khwang Central Prison (328)
- Thon Buri Remand Prison (277)
- Central Women's Correctional Institution (245)
- Khlong Prem Central Prison (159)
- Chiang Mai Central Prison (50), and
- Chachoengsao Central Prison (7)

Thirty-five officials of the Correction Department were also infected with the virus and were currently under treatment, Mr Sitthi said.

He said the department had performed swab tests and chest x-rays on all detainees and officials at the prisons where infections were detected.

Detainees who were negative in the first test would be required to undergo a swab test every seven days until the situation had been resolved.

Those who were infected and sent to hospitals for treatment would be tested again after recovery, he added.

Asked about a media report that the Corrections Department had a budget of only 750,000 baht to cope with the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, Mr Prasit said this sum was originally allocated for holding mobile workshops.

Since the workshops could not be held because of the virus outbreak, the money was re-allocated to prisons across the country to help cope with the pandemic.

In fact, the department had a separate budget for the treatment of Covid patients, Mr Sitthi said.

Since the Covid-19 situation had worsened, the budget set for this purpose was inadequate.

The department had, therefore, asked the Budget Bureau for an additional 411 million baht from the central fund. The money would be used for the setting up of field hospitals and the purchase of equipment.

Mr Sitthi said the Budget Bureau would forward the proposal to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. If he agreed with it, the request would be put to the cabinet for approval.

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