19 May 2024

Thailand’s Medical Services Department is to issue advisories for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, on how to take care of themselves while they are waiting for hospital beds during to the current shortage.

Dr. Somsak Akkasilp, the department’s director-general, said today (Sunday) that each patient isolating at home will also be given a thermometer and an oximeter, to monitor their condition.

Those who are considered to be at high risk will be given Favipiravir anti-viral medication, while those who are considered to be at moderate or low risk will be given the Fah Talai Jone Thai traditional herbal medicine, he said, adding that doctors will follow up via video call and periodical home visits, or will coordinate with members of civil society to take care of those who badly need to be hospitalized.

Dr. Somsak said that this approach to treating asymptomatic cases will be tried in and around Bangkok, where there is a serious shortage of hospital beds.

According to the 1668 hotline service, about 500 COVID-19 patients are now waiting to be admitted to hospital.

On June 25th, 90% of all ICU beds were occupied in the capital, leaving only 27 empty. There are 38 unoccupied beds in negative pressure rooms, 3,063 empty beds in “hospitels” and more than 5,000 empty beds in field hospitals.

Dr. Somsak explained that hospital bed management is constantly being adjusted, to fit in with the changing COVID-19 situation.