New clusters of COVID-19 infection have been linked to entertainment venues in many areas of Thailand. As a precaution, Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has directed Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, to prepare resources for future outbreaks.
Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr. Satit Pitutecha, has chaired a meeting of five networks to ensure proper preparations are made, with the Department of Medical Services assigned to manage the number of hospital beds in Bangkok and other areas of the country.
Currently, there are 28,147 hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients in public and private hospitals; some hotels are turning into temporary hospitals known as hospitels, and field hospitals have been constructed. More beds are being added, as the number COVID-19 patients may increase.
As of February 24, Thailand had 10,138 respirators. The country may order more respirators, depending on the situation.
As of April 16, Thailand had 1,657,232 N95 masks in reserve, and more orders have been placed. At the same time, the country had 94,281,550 medical masks and 544,141 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits.
In addition, Thailand is distributing the antiviral drug favipiravir to all areas of the country. As of April 16, the country had 341,200 favipiravir tablets in reserve, with a million more on order. The government also plans to order 1 million more tablets to meet the potential need.
Thailand has 270 COVID-19 testing laboratories, with each lab having the capacity to test around 81,000 samples a day.
Concerning treatment efficiency, the fatality rate of the COVID-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon province was 0.1 percent, according to data released on February 24.
The current wave of COVID-19 is severe, with most clusters detected in entertainment venues. However, the situation is within the scope of remedial action taken by the government and the Ministry of Public Health. With proper preparation, the ministry is able to adapt to the changing circumstances rapidly, while maintaining effective disease-control measures to protect people’s lives. (NNT)