11 July 2024

The Thai Ministry of Defence has ordered the three armed forces to make space available for the setting up of field hospitals, and to prepare personnel to assist, should number of new COVID-19 infections overwhelm the current health system.

Spokesman for the Ministry, Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, said today that, based on the current data, if the rate of infection does not slow before the middle of April, the existing healthcare system may not have the capacity to cope.

On top of that, he noted that there are still many Thais overseas who wish to return home. All who do travel will be required to enter state quarantine facility, so it is necessary that accommodation be made available before they arrive.

Field hospitals, he explained, will be used to accommodate COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, while hospitals will be reserved for severe cases. The combined capacity of the field and military hospitals will be about 2,600 beds.

Currently, the Sattahip naval base, and the Air Force’s flying school in the Kamphaeng Saen district of Nakhon Pathom, have been used to quarantine Thais arriving from abroad.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Thaveesilp Wissanuyothin stressed the need for all arrivals to be quarantined at state run facilities, in order to curb the spread of the contagion.
“If one or two infected arrivals manage to slip through the net, they may become “super-spreaders”, a lesson we have already learnt,” he said.

He thanked all the 158 passengers, who were released on arrival at the airport after a protest on Friday, for contacting the authorities and they have all agreed to enter state quarantine.