Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health says provincial hospitals are taking care of almost 100,000 COVID-19 patients transferred from Bangkok.
The ministry’s chief of inspectors, Dr. Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, said 94,664 COVID-19 patients have been transferred from Bangkok. Many patients in the capital are also moving back to their home provinces for treatment, due to the government’s lockdown order.
He said that, at the national level, 156,189, or 73.49% of all hospital beds, excluding those in Bangkok, are already occupied. The ministry still has 41,185 beds available and has sufficient medical staff and equipment for patients at provincial hospitals.
Dr. Thongchai added that provincial hospitals are working to increase the number of beds and officials are also turning community hospitals into specialized facilities to help treat COVID-19 patients, to cope with the number of patients being transferred from Bangkok. Patients who want to return to their hometown must contact local health staff, to ask whether local facilities can treat them first, before contacting agencies to arrange transport home.