As Pattaya’s omicron-fueled coronavirus outbreak continues to rage, social media is filling with photos of locals waiting for quarantine beds.
Chonburi on Friday reported 825 new coronavirus cases, 419 of which were found in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya. That followed 467 people in the Pattaya area found positive on Thursday.
At Banglamung Hospital, people who tested positive using home coronavirus antigen tests have been queuing from the early hours to be assigned a room in a community isolation center or “hospitel”, or be told they can stay home.
Those waiting complained it was a ridiculously inefficient system, with infected patients grouping together, most without any symptoms or with only mild ones. In the West, they’d simply stay home for 5-10 days and be done with it.
In Thailand, if you test positive on a city-performed antigen test, you have to scan a QR code, enter your personal information and wait for Banglamung Hospital to contact you for an evaluation. Only then does a doctor decide if you’ll go home, to a converted hotel or be warehoused in an isolation center.