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Health Department to Turn Suvarnabhumi Airport into Field Hospital

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Health Department to Turn Suvarnabhumi Airport into Field Hospital

Thailand’s Health department plans to convert a terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport into a field hospital as the delta variant of covid-19 continues to surge, straining the nation’s public health system shows little sign of easing.

Airports of Thailand AoT the operator of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, has been asked to convert the newly completed terminal into field hospital with an intensive-care unit, medical rooms and support for patients with mild to medium symptoms. The hospital at Suvarnabhumi airport will initially provide at least 5,000 patient beds, according to a government statement late Tuesday.

Medical facilities are already at capacity, and deaths could double by August if the outbreak doesn’t ease, Kumnuan Ungchusak, an expert in epidemiology and adviser to the Health Ministry said at a seminar last week. Most cases have emerged from Bangkok, which continues to report the most infections and deaths each day.

The spread of the delta variant, expected to become the most dominant strain as early as August, has hindered efforts to contain the outbreak.

With the mutated strain expected to spread to more provinces, daily case count may surge to 10,000 from next week, Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said at a briefing Wednesday.

The health department announced today that 72 died yesterday from the delta variant of Covid-19 and Thailand saw 9,276 new covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours. There were 8,998 cases in the general population and 278 among prison inmates.

Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 2,534 fatalities and 317,506 infection cases. Thailand saw a record high of 75 new Covid-19 fatalities on Wednesday.

More Thais are suffering from stress and are feeling hopeless and exhausted due to the new wave of the covid-19  pandemic, which started in April this year, than earlier this year, according to Thailand’s Mental Health Department.

Speaking at the Annual International Mental Health Conference, on the topic of “New Normal Mental Health”, the department’s director-general, Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn, said the wave of COVID-19 infections, since April, has increased the level of anxiety, hopelessness and exhaustion in zones which have seen more infections than the rest of the country.

Source: Bloomberg