The Thai Health Ministry is considering taking legal action against a number of Covid-19 patients who refuse field hospitals for treatment. The move comes after 74 Covid-19 patients, mostly in Bangkok, opted to stay home.
They told health ministry officials that staying at field hospitals would be inconvenient, deputy public health minister Sathit Pitutecha said. Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Mr Sathit said he felt angry when told this.
“Every Covid-19 patient must be taken care of by medical personnel from the Ministry of Public Health at a ministry medical facility, otherwise they violate the communicable disease law.
“The ministry is considering taking legal action against those who have refused to follow ministry regulations,” he said.
He said he has obtained information that those patients who refused to be transferred to field hospitals were from the cluster linked to pubs and bars in the Thong Lor area.
Covid-19 Patients choice of private hospital
They were from well-to-do families. They told the ministry staff that they wanted to stay in private rooms in hospitals only. He went on to say that it was difficult to predict the severity of symptoms among those who contract Covid-19.
Symptoms could get worse at any time making the risk greater for them if they are not closely monitored by ministry medical personnel.
Mr Sathit pointed to the case of comedian Kom Chuanchen who was recently infected. Early on symptoms were mild and he could communicate normally. But now he is in intensive care with lung problems.
Police on Tuesday summoned two executives of the Krystal Club and Emerald Lounge for questioning on May 3 at Thong Lor police station. Kiattipong Khamtai and Decha Pilalee are accused of violating the emergency decree and opening the entertainment venues without permission.
Sufficient covid-19 beds
Meanwhile, Health authorities on Tuesday assured the public there were sufficient hospital beds for the rising number of coronavirus patients, amid a new wave of infections this month that has spread fast across the country.
The government’s policy of hospitalising all those who test positive for Covid-19, even those without symptoms, has prompted concern about capacity in the event of a surge in the number of patients with severe symptoms.
Authorities reported 1,443 new coronavirus cases and 4 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing total infections to 45,185 with 108 fatalities overall. Thailand has been credited for its swift containment of earlier outbreaks, but has yet to start mass vaccinations.