There are now 5,411 registered Covid patients waiting for a hospital bed within the home isolation and community isolation programs but more than 70 per cent of them have only mild symptoms, the government said on Friday.
“Another 848 patients were waiting for a hospital bed yesterday but the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has found beds for more than 121,457 patients already,” said Dr Apisamai Srisangson, the assistant spokeswoman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
The government categorizes Covid patients into colour-coded groups: asymptomatic (light green), mild symptoms (dark green), moderate symptoms (yellow) and critical condition (red).
Out of the 5,411 Covid patients who are registered with the government’s system and are waiting for a hospital bed in home isolation and community isolation programmes, 4,056 are patients with mild symptoms, 1,285 have moderate symptoms and 70 are in critical condition.
Of the 1,265 patients with moderate symptoms and are withing for a hospital bed, 788 have waited for more than two days and of the 70 who are in critical condition, 40 have waited more than one day now, the government’s data shows.
“Patients in the green groups might not need a hospital bed and we are concentrating on the home isolation strategy for these groups,” Apisamai said.
“Patients with mild symptoms are mostly people who have been infected but are still healthy, young and they might have symptoms such as they are unable to smell, cannot taste anything or diarrhea but these groups do not have symptoms that are related to the respiratory system,” she added.
According to the CCSA, nearly 80 per cent of the sample size of 34,808 people who have tested positive for Covid between June 20 and July 21 were either asymptomatic or experienced only mild symptoms.
However, the shortage of hospital beds is now a “crisis” where only 5 per cent of the hospital beds designated for Covid patients with moderate symptoms or in critical condition are left available within the Bangkok and Metropolitan Region (BMR), the country’s hardest-hit area in the latest outbreak, the Ministry of Public Health said on Thursday.
The home isolation programme is also under fire from the public as many Covid patients have died while waiting at home and the opposition are suggesting for the government to build more community isolation facilities.
A volunteer group told Thai Enquirer this week that many Covid patients isolating at home cannot register to get medical equipment, medicine, and calls with doctors as was promised by the government.
The community isolation programme was set up to take in people whose home was not appropriate for the home isolation programme.
The government said this week that they are building more of such facilities where there are now 21 operational facilities in the BMR but the plan is to increase them to 100-150 in total with a capacity of around 10,000 patients.
A total of 14,575 new Covid cases, a new all-time high, and 114 related deaths were reported by the CCSA in the past 24 hours.
The third wave, which started in the BMR on April 1, had led to 438,844 cases and 3,717 deaths so far.
There are now 143,744 Covid patients who are being treated at hospitals. Of that, 3,984 are in critical condition including 900 on ventilators.
From the total number of Covid patients, 81,808 are being treated in public and private hospitals and 61,936 in field hospitals.