Bangkok sends asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases home in Isaan, seeks more hospital beds
Bangkok authorities began sending asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases back to the northeastern region of Thailand on Tuesday, for isolation and treatment, as the capital, the current epicenter of the current wave, runs out of hospital beds.
135 “green” or mild and asymptomatic patients are being transported, on a special train, to their hometowns in Buriram, Surin, Sisaket, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon and Nakhon Ratchasima today.
The train will only stop at the pre-planned destinations, while close supervision by medics will be provided on the train. Ambulances will be waiting for the patients as they arrive, to take them to designated isolation areas.
Bangkok currently has 3,515 beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients in hospitals, field hospitals and “hospitels”, which are now almost fully occupied, leaving many people waiting in home isolation for vacant beds, according to Bangkok’s Medical Department, which is planning to find 3,500 more beds for people whose symptoms are at the medium level and about 40 more beds for severe cases.
Among new venues to be used for new COVID cases are sleeper trains, with a plan to open 240 beds in 15 train carriages this Friday (July 30th) for green cases.
About 3,332 people infected with COVID-19 in Bangkok have been in home isolation to date. 915 have recovered, while 455 others have been taken to hospitals for treatment.