Temple becomes monk isolation centre
Wat Hong Rattanaram in Bangkok Yai district of the capital was yesterday transformed into a temple isolation centre for monks and nearby residents who have been infected with Covid-19.
With the growing number of infected monks and novices, it seemed beyond the capacity of Priest Hospital to provide sufficient beds. That led to the creation of the centre to ease the hospital's workload.
"Initially, the centre will focus on infected monks in Bangkok Yai and Thon Buri districts, as well as residents from adjacent communities. The centre may be expanded if there are more beds available," temple abbot Phra Tham Vachiramethi said yesterday.
The centre can handle green-coded patients with mild-to-no symptoms at its teaching building for monks with 71 beds, and its school building for general people with 48 beds, half of which are provided for women.
The setup of the centre has been assisted by the Public Health Ministry, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and other agencies.
Many doctors have volunteered to take care of patients for free, the abbot said.
Dr Suksan Kittisupakorn, director of the BMA's Medical Service Department, said the temple is one of 64 isolation centres being run in Bangkok.
The BMA has planned to launch up to 70 centres, eight of which will be district field hospitals and 22 others will be in the form of semi-community isolation.
Patients who are not able to stay at home can ask to be treated at the community isolation centres.
When including the works of private and civil society sectors, the BMA will have about 10,000 beds at the centres across Bangkok, he said.
NHSO secretary-general Jadej Thammatacharee said the office will support charges for health public services, food, medications and medical equipment, as well as patients' medical expenses.