Forensic doctor says COVID death toll may be higher than reported by CCSA
A forensic doctor, at Ramathibodi Hospital of Mahidol University, has observed that the number of deaths from COVID-19, reported by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in its daily briefings, could be higher.
In his Facebook post today, Asst. Prof. Dr. Smith Srisont, chief of the forensic laboratory in the Department of Pathology, wrote “The situation is really severe. The numbers of patients and deaths seen were definitely not the actual figures.”
The doctor cited the swab tests on four victims, who were sent to his forensic lab for examination to determine the actual cause(s) of their deaths. He noted that the four cases were in just one day and the victims came from areas which are within the coverage area of Ramathibodi Hospital.
Dr. Smith also said that most of the dead came from congested areas in Bangkok, such as National Housing Authority apartments, where several tenants were reported to be infected, but they are not being admitted due to the shortage of hospital beds, adding that several of them could not even get COVID tests.
He cited the case of a bed-stricken patient, who was infected by a family member and was totally unaware that he was infected until the dead family member was found to be infected in a posthumous test at the hospital.
“I think many people in slum communities don’t know who among them is already infected, because no authority has looked into their problem,” the doctor said.
At Ramathibodi Hospital, where free COVID testing is still being provided to members of the public, Dr. Smith said that he saw many people showing up at the hospital, from 10pm, to queue for tests the following day.
He admitted that even at Ramathibodi Hospital, forensic doctors could not conduct swab tests on all the dead victims, because they could not ask for a refund of their costs from victims who died before their arrival at the hospital.