Schools become field hospitals

Schools become field hospitals

The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) has ordered schools across the country to allow unused buildings on their premises to be turned into field hospitals as the number of new Covid-19 infections continues to rise.

The order, which was directed to top education officials across the country, was signed by Obec secretary-general, Amporn Pinasa, on Monday, according to a source on the commission.

The education officials are asked to allow unused and/or unoccupied school buildings under their jurisdiction to be transformed into field hospitals. The move was taken to increase the number of treatment space available for Covid-19 patients, especially since hospitals are filling up as a result of the latest surge in new infections.

Existing field hospitals, which are only allowed to admit Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms, are also running out of beds, the source said, adding the heads of education zones are expected to report back to Obec on the progress of their efforts.

Among those which will be converted into temporary treatment facilities are buildings which had once served as a school, but were left unoccupied after the school was merged with a nearby school due to low enrolment figures. Other buildings which will be converted are school buildings which are currently unoccupied as all students have been instructed to study from home.

In a bid to increase the number of available beds, over the past two months the army has set also up three more field hospitals each in Songkhla, Roi Et and Saraburi, assistant spokeswoman for the army, Maj Juthathip Wuthironnarit said.

The latest addition brings the total number of field hospitals established by the armed forces since the third wave of the pandemic began in April to 19.

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