Bangkok Covid cases advised to visit hospitals outside capital

Bangkok Covid cases advised to visit hospitals outside capital

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, left, visits staff who treat Covid-19 cases as outpatients at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, left, visits staff who treat Covid-19 cases as outpatients at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The Public Health Ministry is advising people who have contracted Covid-19 in Bangkok to seek treatment at hospitals in nearby provinces as the 1330 hotline is overwhelmed with requests for treatment in the capital.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, said on Thursday that on Wednesday alone 70,300 calls were made to the 1330 hotline of the National Health Security Office - but the 700 operators could answer only half of them.

The people whose calls were not answered were in Bangkok and tested positive for Covid-19 via antigen tests, he said.

To serve them, the Public Health Ministry ordered its hospitals in 14 nearby provinces to treat Covid-19 cases from Bangkok as outpatients. These hospitals were capable of treating a total of 18,650 cases per day, Dr Kiattiphum said.

The adjacent hospitals are in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Suphan Buri, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao provinces.

At the hospitals, Covid-19 outpatients would receive medications - including the antiviral drug favipiravir - that would allow them to stay at home. Statistics showed that only 0.5% of the cases who did home-based treatment needed to return to hospitals, Dr Kiattiphum said.

The free-of-charge outpatient services in the 14 nearby provinces would start on Friday, he said.

Dr Thongchai Kiratihatthayakorn, deputy permanent secretary for public health, said most Covid-19 cases who arrived at such outpatient clinics at the ministry's hospitals had either no or only minor symptoms.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Thursday predicted that daily new Covid-19 cases would peak around the middle of next month. It reported 42,138 positive results from antigen tests and 23,618 cases confirmed with RT-PCR tests, for an unconfirmed total of 65,756 new cases logged on Wednesday.


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