11 July 2024

Thailand’s Health Service Support Department will not extend the licenses of temporary hospitals after October 1st, when COVID-19 is to be reclassified from a “dangerous infectious disease” to an “infectious disease under watch”, unless there are still patients being treated there, said Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, the department’s director-general, today (Friday)

Many temporary hospitals, such as community isolation facilities and “hospitels”, were opened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to ease the workload and bed shortagesin ordinary hospitals.

Dr. Tares said that the department plans to close them down, but several have asked for extensions of their service as infections started to increase due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

As the COVID-19 has situation has steadily improved, with fewer infections, hospitalisations and fatalities, and with the reclassification of COVID-19, which coincides with Thailand entering a post-pandemic era, Dr. Tares said that there will be no need for such facilities because ordinary hospitals canhandle the situation.

Since the licenses of most of these health facilities are due to expire at the end of this month, he said that they will not be renewed or extended, except for those where there are still patients under their care. These facilities will be allowed to remain open until all their patients are discharged.

After October 1st, he said that COVID-19 will be treated like flu and patients who do not have symptoms or have only mild symptoms will be advised to observe DMHT (distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and testing) measures strictly for five days.