Protest ends plan to open Covid hospitel in Betong

Protest ends plan to open Covid hospitel in Betong

Authorities have backed down on a plan to open a hospitel at a hotel for mild Covid-19 patients in the town of Betong after residents protested with some even threatening to hang themselves.

Dr Abdulkadir Yusuf, director of Siroros Yala Hospital, on Wednesday confirmed state agencies decided not to proceed with the plan centred on the Garden View Hotel in the town centre of Yala's Betong district due to opposition from residents.

Dr Abdulkadir said demand for hospital beds in the far South provinces, where the Covid-19 situation is still severe, is high. Siroros Yala Hospital and local authorities were planning to open a new hospitel at the hotel.

"Covid-19 is not as scary as many people thought. Separation from family is actually the reason that makes many patients stressed, some people choose to stay at the hospitel to stay with their family. Thus, the high demand for hospitel rooms," he said.

"However, as two people threatened to hang themselves at the clock tower in Betong city centre to protest at the opening of a new hospitel out of the fear that it could spread Covid-19 in the area. So Siroros Yala Hospital has decided to cancel the plan to avoid conflict," Dr Abdulkadir said.

He said the intention of opening the hospitel was to help local people, so they would not have to travel outside town to receive services at a hospitel in another province.

Dr Abdulkadir added that there are four hospitels operating in the Far South. Three are in Pattani and another one in Narathiwat, while there is a plan to open a new hospitel at D Aman Hotel & Resort in Songkhla's Thepa district.

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