SAMUT SAKHON: Samut Sakhon governor Veerasak Vichitsangsri has ordered his provincial staff to break Public Health Ministry regulations about isolating Covid-19 infected people when lives are at risk.
The governor posted the order on his Facebook account.
"If regulations cause people to die because of a lack of quarantine places, just bypass those regulations and do it. I issue the order," Mr Veersak said.
"Let's see what is more important, the regulations or deaths," he added.
Sources say the message stemmed from a bottleneck of infected patients at isolation centres, resulting in more new cases and deaths.
The number of cases in the province jumped to almost 1,000, according to one report on Thursday.
Sources said the province has planned to set up 32 community isolation centres to separate infected people from their families to help contain the spread.
There are currently 13 such centres receiving infected people.
However, the process for admitting infected people to the centres was slow.
This is what prompted the governor to order officials to bypass regulations in isolating infected people from their families, the source said.
The governor was earlier infected with Covid-19 while overseeing efforts to combat the epidemic and spent nearly three months recovering in Siriraj Hospital. He was discharged on March 19.
The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Samut Sakhon, with another 975 infections reported on Thursday.
Of the new infections, 199 were detected via mass testing, 10 were found at a prison and 766 confirmed at a hospital, the public relations office said via its Facebook page on Thursday.
The 766 cases found at the hospital comprised 634 Samut Sakhon residents and 132 people from other provinces.
The provincial total stood at 38,325 cases of whom 27,370 had recovered. A total of 10,865 were still under treatment in hospital.
Accumulated deaths stood at 90.
The province's seven field hospitals had 189 beds available.
Since April 1, around when the third Covid-19 wave began, there have been 424,269 Covid-19 patients, 284,951 of whom have recovered.
Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 453,132 Covid-19 cases, 312,377 of whom recovered.
The death toll was at 3,603 in the third wave and 3,697 from the beginning of the pandemic early last year.
A new daily record of 13,655 Covid-19 cases, and 87 more fatalities, were reported on Thursday.
Of those Bangkok logged 44 fatalities while there were five in Nakhon Sawan, four each in Samut Sakhon and Pattani.