Govt has plan to help infected travel home

Govt has plan to help infected travel home

A plan has been drawn up to help people infected with Covid-19 return to their home provinces for treatment, health permanent secretary Kiatiphum Wongrajit said yesterday.

The Ministry of Public Health, the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) backed the plan, Dr Kiatiphum said.

It comes in response to the fact that infected people, especially those coming from the Northeast, continue to return home for treatment.

The plan would ensure their travel met disease prevention and control standards so the virus would not spread further, both during the trip and after they arrived home, he said.

There were conditions attached -- the infected people must be in a stable enough condition to travel and their home provinces must be ready to accept them with the consent of the provincial communicable disease committees.

Dr Kiatiphum said the Health Ministry was coordinating with the Ministry of Defence, the Army Transport Department, the Ministry of Transport and the State Railway of Thailand in preparing the plan.

Infected people who wanted to return home should call the NHSO on number 1330, extension 15. The NHSO would coordinate with provincial health offices, NIEM, the army and railways to arrange the return trips.

The NIEM would give advice to infected people, to ensure their and others' safety during the trip, he said.

Meanwhile Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokeswoman, said a 4,500-bed field hospital at Suvarnabhumi Airport will be able to receive Covid-19 patients next month. The Ministry of Public Health's Department of Health Service Support will be responsible for this field hospital.

She said the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited is also preparing to set up a 2,000-bed field hospital at Don Mueang Airport to receive Covid-19 patients.

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