CCSA concerned over ICU bed capacity – Thai PBS World Tonight [23rd April 2021]
The CCSA spokesperson, Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin admitted that the daily surge will impact public health services, noting that the current number of current ICU beds, in all general hospitals, is not sufficient to cope with the demand and must be increased.
There are 262 ICU beds in Bangkok, 69 of which are unoccupied, plus 479 negative pressure rooms, with 69 of them still unoccupied.
At an example rate of 1,500 new infections a day, Dr. Taweesin explained that 52 ICU beds would be needed nationwide each day, including as many as 13 ICU beds for Bangkok, adding that all the available ICU beds in all hospitals will be fully occupied in the next 6-8 days.
He also said that officials are discussing increasing ICU wards in general and field hospitals, to cope with the anticipated increase in the number of severe cases, with the state-run Rajavithi hospital taking the lead.
The CCSA spokesperson also apologised to the public for the long wait when dialing the COVID-19 hotlines. He asked the public to provide important information, such as contact numbers and their COVID-19 testing details, through the hotlines 1668, 1669, and 1330.
He explained that additional phone-lines have already been added to help meet demand.
At the moment, 1,423 patients are still waiting for hospital beds, including 264 more patients in the past 24 hours, while 474 have been admitted to hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations, says its minister, Anek Laothammatas, has asked medical schools under its administration to send their students to man the hotlines, to solve the issue of calls to 1668 and 1669 going unanswered.
The ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Sirireuk Songsiwilai, also said that they have set up 41 field hospitals across the country, with a total of 12,000 beds and medical personnel, ready to accommodate COVID-19 patients. There are also 22 medical schools ready to help patients in a critical condition and who require ventilators.