Thailand-Reports have been going around various media sources over the past day after the Rayong Governor authorized more field hospitals to help support “patients” in the area following increased numbers of Covid-19 cases in the province stemming originally from people gambling illegally.Governor Charnna Iamsaeng made the statements on Friday, January 1st, stating that a quarantine facility in Rayong had been converted into a 70 bed field hospital and that portions of the Navy base in Sattahip and a golf course resort near Wang Chan will be turned into hospitals as he said the provincial hospital is out of beds.This led to media reporting the hospitals were “overwhelmed” with patients, but there wasn’t much additional context The Pattaya News notes.So, is the statement true?It’s partially true, but the full context wasn’t given. Thailand currently has a policy that all patients, regardless of being asymptomatic or seriously ill must stay in a hospital or hospital facility while positive with Covid-19. The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesperson Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin has stated that roughly 90% of the current cases of Covid-19 in Thailand are asymptomatic-meaning showing no signs of illness-a condition that would require home isolation in other countries but not forced hospitalization. Only roughly 1-2 percent of the cases so far in the clusters across the country were serious, the CCSA had added earlier this week.Therefore, the hospitals are filling up, yes, but not with sick or critically ill patients. They are busy due to a policy requiring any Covid-19 patient to spend time in a hospital or similar facility until they test negative twice.The policy has led to furious debate on social media, with some stating the obvious fact that if the current clusters of infection are not resolved officials will need to look at alternatives for the current policy.Meanwhile, Thai officials including the CCSA and Rayong Governor have asked local residents of areas where quarantine hospitals are being built not to panic and that the situation is secure, including in the Wang Chan area.Rayong recorded 37 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, January 1st, 2021, nearly all asymptomatic or mild according to the report and connected and traced to an original illegal gambling cluster.
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