The Public Health Ministry is closing down a field hospital at Impact Muang Thong Thani exhibition centre in Nonthaburi province because of a decline in the number of Covid-19 patients.
Kittisak Aksornwong, the assistant to the public health permanent secretary, said the 3,700-bed Busarakam Hospital will be closed by Sept 30 and the area handed back on Oct 1.
Since the field hospital opened on May 14, it has cared for 20,289 patients, 92 others in critical condition and 55 with moderate-to-critical symptoms. Most have recovered and returned home, he said.
In the past two weeks the hospital has seen a sharp decline in patients -- about five new cases per day, compared with a daily average of 100 when it first opened, and 300-400 cases a day when the Delta variant started spreading, he said.
"So it was agreed the field hospital will be closed," he said.
Dr Kittisak said Busarakam Hospital, when it opened on May 14, had 1,100 beds. Its capacity was increased to 2,200 beds on May 28. In early July, another 1,500 beds were added and were quickly taken up.
Due to a shortage of ICU beds, the hospital added 17 beds for critical patients on Aug 4, and 32 beds for moderate-to-critical patients on Sept 1.
During this period, the number of patients requiring high-flow nasal oxygen rose to 200 a day.
Dr Kittisak said home and community isolation centres and field hospitals have opened across the city and in neighbouring provinces, and these should accommodate new patients.