An association of doctors is slamming the Thai government for not preparing for “Stage 3 of the Covid-19 Coronavirus.” Stage 3 would be a full-blown epidemic of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Thailand .
On its Facebook page, the Thoracic Society of Thailand issued an emotionally charged warning. Stating that the country is not be equipped to deal with a drastic escalation in coronavirus cases.
This week’s rise in the number of cases indicates that the country is beginning to enter Stage 3, according to the statement.
The society said it has been trying to alert agencies involved of the need for preparations. “And though there is a degree of response, this is still not enough. Especially to deal with this major health crisis,” according to the official statement.
In Stage 3 — the highest of an outbreak, all state and private hospitals must identify all patients with severe Covid-19 infections. Furthermore they must isolate them in hospitals for treatment to cut the rate of transmission.
Thai health department monitoring hospitals
The society also took aim at the Thai government agencies responsible for combating the virus: “The virus outbreak has shown that state agencies are always one step behind.
“But this does not dampen the spirit of medical professionals who will not surrender to these tiny enemies. We will not bow to those in high places who lack expertise and do not understand how we work. Now is the time for us to prepare for war even if there are no efficient weapons or decisive commanders,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Tares Krassanairawiwong, of the Health Department, said that his department had issued an order, effective from March 5. Prohibiting private hospitals from turning away emergency cases of Covid-19 infection.
If it is necessary to refer patients to other hospitals, they must ensure referrals are arranged properly.Above all they must not let patients travel to seek treatment elsewhere themselves, Dr Tares said.
Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary for public health department, also stressed the need for China to get back to its normal production of medical tools. Especially surgical masks and other necessary medical items to fight against the epidemic.
He said the Thai government has already asked for its support in sending 180 million surgical masks; one million N95 medical masks; and one million protective medical uniforms.
He also said that all hospitals under the health departments responsibility will receive N95 medical masks and other necessary protective uniforms today. Also adding that the Thai government will provide full support to all medical staff fighting against the disease. Including extra payments for medical staff, the Bangkok Post reports.
Health department says nation at Stage 2
Despite the increasing number of confirmed cases, Dr Sukhum said the outbreak is still only at the second stage domestically.
Stage 2 means the spread of Wuhan Covid-19 is still limited and mostly confined to overseas returnees. Also foreigners from the affected countries and those in close contact with either group.
There are only two cases where the ministry can’t point to a cause of infection, said Dr Sukhum.
According to the Isara News Agency, the emergency operation centre under the Disease Control Department has compiled a report which suggests that Thailand remains unlikely to enter Stage 3. Saying the existing measures can still theoretically control the spread of the virus.
However, the agency quoted the report urging social distancing, particularly a ban on mass gatherings.
If no proactive measures are put in place, the report warned that infections may reach a critical point. Where infections could no longer be controlled and the number of infected patients would rise quickly. Cases could reach 2,250 by May, according to projections included in the report.