Self-isolation gives Covid patients care alternative
Almost 8,000 people have joined outpatients under self-isolation (OSI), a new treatment protocol for Covid-19 sufferers who have mild or no symptoms, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
The figure was drawn from OSI patients in 14 provinces during the period March 4-8.
People who contracted the virus agreed to enter OSI as an alternative to home isolation.
In both isolation methods, Covid-19 sufferers are confined to treatment at home. However, the difference with OSI is that doctors follow up on sufferers once after 48 hours of isolation.
Under home isolation, doctors follow up every day.
Also, those under home isolation are given a medical kit with a thermometer and oximeter for use during treatment. However, OSI patients are not provided with the kit.
People in home isolation likewise get meals delivered to their homes whereas OSI patients do not.
Mr Thanakorn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged people in 10 provinces where Covid-19 is most prevalent to receive vaccination and booster shots to lessen the pandemic impacts.
Meanwhile, Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients or "Ucep Plus" begins on Wednesday for those who have mild Covid symptoms; they will be required to seek treatment according to their healthcare status, the government says.
At present, all costs associated with Covid-19 treatments are covered by the Ucep Plus scheme, meaning patients with mild to severe symptoms can seek treatment at any hospital free of charge.
Dr Jadet Thammathat-aree, secretary-general of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), said those with slight or no symptoms who obtain treatment at private hospitals can no longer do so free of charge from Wednesday, and must absorb costs themselves.
Medical professionals classify moderate symptoms as when patients suffer from pneumonitis and must be given oxygen through a nasal cannula, while those in critical condition usually must be admitted to ICU or need intubation.
According to Public Health Ministry records, of Omicron-variant patients, 88% fall into the green [mild] group while the yellow and red groups account for only 12% of patients.