With positive antigen test COVID-19 patients can enter home isolation immediately

A volunteer from the Zendai organization checks the blood oxygen levels of a woman in home isolation in a Covid-19 stricken community in Nong Chok district in the outskirts of Bangkok on July 26, 2021, as hospital beds for infected patients remain scarce across the nation. Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

People who test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test can now be immediately admitted for care under the home isolation program, said CCSA Assistant Spokeswoman Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan today (Monday).

She disclosed that about 40% of people who went for RT-PCR tests at hospitals in Bangkok have been found to be infected with COVID-19 and similar tests conducted at hospitals in the provinces show a 25% infection rate, whereas antigen tests in hospitals show about a 14% infection rate.

While people testing positive with an antigen test kit (ATK) can enter and receive care under home isolation immediately, Dr. Apisamai said that entering community isolation will have to wait until the infection is confirmed by an RT-PCR test.

About 100,000 infected people, who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, have already entered home isolation and are being supported by 246 primary health care units. There are 67 community isolation facilities in Bangkok, with total capacity of 8,886 patients.

Dr. Apisamai said that field hospitals in Bangkok have been expanded to accommodate an additional 2,000 “Yellow” category patients and “hospitels” have been expanded to accommodate an additional 4,000 “Light Yellow” category patients.

She said the Busarakam field hospital is currently accommodating 3,311 “Light Yellow” patients, 346 “Yellow” patients and 17 “Red” patients.

Bangkok City Hall’s Erawan Centre has been providing transport services, to take patients for treatment in hospitals. They are currently making 500 trips a day.

Regarding the distribution of the 1.5 million US-donated doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, Dr. Apisamai said that 60% of them have already been distributed to designated recipients and, as of yesterday, 39,483 medics have received their Pfizer vaccine booster jabs.

Dr. Apisamai also asked students furthering their studies overseas to register by scanning the QR code and then waiting for vaccination appointments via text message.

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