100K in home isolation

100K in home isolation

Patients self-care as Covid-19 cases rise

Bus drivers, fare collectors and staff from the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority turn up at a bus depot in Klong Toey for Covid-19 testing under supervision of a team of medical personnel from the Rural Doctor Society on Thursday. Bus drivers and fare collectors are an at-risk group and the number of infections among them has exceeded 300 during the lockdown. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Bus drivers, fare collectors and staff from the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority turn up at a bus depot in Klong Toey for Covid-19 testing under supervision of a team of medical personnel from the Rural Doctor Society on Thursday. Bus drivers and fare collectors are an at-risk group and the number of infections among them has exceeded 300 during the lockdown. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Nearly 100,000 Covid-19 patients in Bangkok have now been placed in home isolation as cases continue to soar in the country.

Thailand logged a record of 20,920 new daily cases and 160 fatalities on Thursday.

"The number of patients in home isolation in Bangkok reached almost 100,000 as of Aug 5," Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Thursday.

The CCSA's operations centre was also briefed on the work of 232 centres set up to look after patients in home isolation in the capital, she said.

"All sectors are working hard to ensure people are looked after safely and quickly," Dr Apisamai said.

She added the Department of Health Service Support under the Public Health Ministry has amended regulations to allow the public to buy antigen test kits (ATKs) for self-testing.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 19 ATK brands and more companies are expected to submit proposals for approval, Dr Apisamai said, adding ATKs must be bought at hospitals or pharmacies.

ATKs are not permitted to be sold online or at convenience stores, she said.

She added the National Health Security Office's board has approved a budget allocation of 1 billion baht to purchase 8.5 million ATKs and give them to the public for self-testing.

The public can look up authorised venues selling rapid antigen services on koncovid.com, she said.

As for proactive testing in Bangkok, people can check the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's (BMA) public relations department's Facebook page for information, she said.

According to the BMA, 20% of people using ATKs since July 20 tested positive for Covid-19.

"According to the policy of the Department of Medical Services, people who are infected with Covid-19 must be given timely medical treatment," Dr Apisamai said.

"If test results show positive, don't panic. Just register by calling 1330 or contact the hospital where you were tested."

She said a total of 383,607 vaccine doses were administered to Thais on Wednesday, bringing the accumulated vaccine doses administered to 18,961,703.

Moreover, there are also 50 hotlines at Bangkok's 50 district offices for people searching for information, Dr Apisamai said, adding more than 5,000 people called the numbers on Wednesday alone.

She said there are 64 community isolation facilities in Bangkok, with 6,958 beds, noting 3,015 or 43% of them are occupied by patients. Another 100 community isolation facilities were set up by several communities, she said.

Dr Apisamai said the community isolation programme has the support of hospitals, communities, and non-government organisations.

For example, Rajavithi Hospital has provided support for the community isolation facility at the Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan) in Din Daeng district, while the Police General Hospital has supported community isolation at Wat Borommaniwat in Pathumwan district, she said.

Bangkok Hospital has provided 122 additional hospital beds and another 24 intensive care unit beds and arranged 77 beds for hotels transformed into hospitals, Dr Apisamai said.

Other private hospitals which stepped in to help include Samitivej Hospital and its branches, Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and Piyavate Hospital, she said. These hospitals have arranged 2,500 beds for hospitals, 98% of which have been occupied, Dr Apisamai said.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry on Thursday reported a record 20,920 new Covid-19 cases and 160 more fatalities over the past 24 hours.

There were 20,658 cases in the general population and 262 among prison inmates, it said. Over the past 24 hours, 17,926 recovered Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals.

Samut Sakhon had two new clusters -- 63 cases at a cold storage factory and 45 cases at a cardboard box factory in Muang district.

Samut Prakan had two new clusters -- 29 cases at a metal casting factory in Bang Phli and 12 cases at a carpet factory in Phra Pradaeng.

Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 693,305 Covid-19 cases, 473,732 of whom recovered.


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