39,500 COVID-infected people are in home or community isolation
Altogether 39,500 asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients have, so far, registered to remain in home or community isolation, under the supervision of 104 community clinics and other health service providers, according to Dr. Jadet Thamtat-aree, secretary-general of the National Health Security Office (NHSO).
Initially, each medic at a clinic will be able to cope with 20-30 patients but, with the introduction of online monitoring systems, Dr. Jadet said that each can now handle more than 100 patients simultaneously, pointing out that the main task of a clinic is to ensure regular delivery of food and medical supplies to the infected people.
Attending to the patients, he said, does not need close physical contact and can be done via a video call, adding that he will seek cooperation, from community clinics and other health service providers involved in the home-community isolation project, to accept more patients who live far away, where such services are not available, because distance should not pose an obstacle to online monitoring.
Each clinic or other health service provider will be paid 3,000 baht for each patient under its care on a weekly basis, instead of at the end of the isolation period for each patient, said Dr. Jadet, adding that the health facilities need cash flow for their daily expenses, to cover food deliveries and the provision of thermometers and oximeters for the patients.
He went on to say that about 8.5 million antigen test kits (ATKs), procured by the NHSO, will be available for distribution free of charge within the next two months. Moreover, the Public Health Ministry expects to screen as many as 100,000 people a day through the use of ATKs.
Those who test positive via ATKs can contact their nearest government health office or contact the hotline number 1330 for admission to home or community isolation program.