Pattaya tested nearly 1,400 people for Covid-19 at the city’s new field hospital at the Grand Bella Hotel.
The number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus, if any, was not disclosed. But Pattaya officials said that they met their goal of testing 200 people a day at the closed two-building resort.
Testing is being done on Thais and foreigners deemed to be “high-risk”, specifically Thais working with foreign tourists, such as bargirls, taxi drivers and hotel staff. Foreign tourists remaining in the city also are being tested.
Subjects arrive at the hotel lobby and have their temperatures and medical history taken. They are then screened and sent to the first floor of the second building to await results.
Pattaya is using a new “loop-mediated isothermal amplification”, or LAMP, test to rapidly detect a gene in the novel coronavirus that requires less equipment and expense than standard tests and can return results in as little as 30 minutes. Test kits are processed at Banglamung Hospital.
However, the medical community questions the accuracy of the LAMP tests, as the gene targeted by the test mutates frequently. As such, anyone testing positive is subjected to a second, more-accurate, expensive and slower test.
Anyone testing positive is admitted to the higher floors in the second building where they are either held in quarantine or treated for mild and moderate symptoms.
Anyone developing serious symptoms are transferred to area hospitals. (PCPR)