6 June 2024

Field hospitals in Thailand’s coastal province of Samut Sakhon were placed on standby on Monday to receive the around 800 new COVID-19 cases, expected after health officials began screening as many as 10,000 people a day for five consecutive days in a mass pro-active screening exercise.

CCSA deputy spokesperson Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan told a news conference this morning that there are now 1,091 beds in field hospitals, with 1,400 more beds to be available by Friday.

She also appealed for private hospitals to help in the mass screening process, without which the 10,000 per day target may not be achieved.

The mass screening will focus on migrant workers in factories, communities and dormitories in the province. Infections in the province have reached 5,480 since December 17th, most of whom are migrant workers. The infection rate among them is about 7%.

Samut Sakhon is Thailand’s current hot spot for COVID-19 infections, due to the poor living conditions in the cramped dormitories of the migrant workers from Myanmar, creating an ideal environment for the spread of the virus.

Dr. Apisamai said that severe cases will be sent to normal hospitals for treatment, while those with mild symptoms or asymptomatic cases will be housed in the field hospitals.

Looking at the big picture, she said that the rate of new infections fell yesterday and today, with new cases being reported in just seven provinces, compared to more than 30 during the initial stage of the second outbreak.

In Bangkok, 700 cases have been recorded since December 15th, she said, adding that a closer look at the movements of some of the infected shows that one infected person can become a super spreader, citing the DJ Matoom cluster of infections, which originated with an individual who is believed to have been infected in Chiang Mai before attending the DJ’s party.