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Two-thirds of Covid beds still empty post-Songkran but child cases up


One week after the Songkran holiday, Covid-19 patients occupy just over one-third of available hospital beds nationwide, the Medical Service Department reports.

“Currently 35.8 per cent of around 180,000 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients are being used,” department director-general Somsak Akkasilp said on Friday. Twenty-five per cent of available beds are occupied by pneumonia patients, he added.

The government forecast a surge of up to 100,000 cases per day after Songkran.

“The department will evaluate the situation again at the end of this month to draw up a management plan for hospital beds,” Somsak said.

Most newly infected patients have mild or no symptoms due to the Omicron variant, he added.

Worryingly, however, infections in children have increased from January. Small children have a higher chance of developing severe symptoms as they are too young to be vaccinated.

“More than 50 per cent of Covid-19 deaths in children under five are found in unvaccinated patients, most of them with underlying health problems,” he said.

The department has set the following Clinical Practice Guidelines for Covid-19 patients in four different groups:

1. Patients who test positive but have no symptoms will be given Fah Talai Jone capsules at their doctor’s discretion.

2. Patients who have mild symptoms and no underlying health problems will be given Favipiravir tablets.

3. Patients who have underlying health problems or develop pneumonia but do not need respirators will be monitored closely at hospitals and given either Favipiravir, Remdesivir, Molnupiravir or Nirmartelvir/Ritonavir (Paxlovid) depending on their symptoms.

4. Patients who require respirators or oxygen therapy will be given Remdesivir.

On Saturday, Thailand recorded 20,052 new Covid-19 cases and 129 deaths over the previous 24 hours.

Published : April 23, 2022

By : THE NATION