The Ministry of Public Health has clarified that it has no policy of allowing Covid-19 patients to be treated at home.
If hospital beds are full, they have a forwarding system with a field hospital and a hotel semi-hospital system (hospitel) to treat patients with mild symptoms.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, confirmed that unlike many other countries Thailand had no policy of people infected with Covid-19 being confined to their homes.
Infected persons must be hospitalised.
Dr Opas added that the majority of infected people in this new wave have relatively few symptoms, so a hotel system is adapted to be a hospitel, with a medical and public healthcare system. There is a referral system if the symptoms are more severe. There are now thousands of rooms available and if there are many infected people, field hospitals will be set up in Bangkok, he said.
He added that Thais or foreigners with suspected symptoms can detect the infection free of charge as the government subsidises the examination fee for everyone by providing a budget to the National Health Security Office of Bt3 billion, which is sufficient as of now.
Thailand suffered lisses estimated at Bt500 billion in 2019 from road accidents and over 80 per cent involved motorcycles, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.
Thailand is the country with the highest death rate from road accidents in Asean — 32.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, by estimating the statistics of road fatalities over the next six years (from 2021 to 2027), the worst- case scenario is estimated at 18,606 deaths per year and about 15,399 deaths per year in a best-case scenario.
Nopadol Santipakorn, managing director, Road Accident Victims Protection Co, said that WHO had estimated the financial loss from road fatalities in different countries. In the case of Thailand, the losses due to accidents were estimated at 3 per cent of gross domestic product, or Bt500 billion on 2019 GDP of Bt16.87 trillion.
Deaths and road accidents during the first three months of this year (January-March) are likely to increase after a sharp decline in numbers in 2020 to 17,831 from 22,000 in 2019, partly due to the April 2020 nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, without the Covid-19 factor, the number of deaths may return to 19,000-20,000 people, especially in January 2021. Overall, one person is killed every 23 seconds, and about 317,000 people per year worldwide die in road accidents.
Approximately 39 per cent of the deaths are family heads. This means that the death of one person puts 2.43 people per family in trouble. It is also a loss for Thailand’s demography as the country enters an ageing society, Nopadol said.
The new Covid-19 wave has severely impacted hotel operators in the northern region of Thailand, the president of the Thai Hotels Association Northern Chapter said on Sunday.
La-iad Bungsrithong, who owns Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai, said customers, especially government officials, had begun to cancel their bookings in response to the new Covid-19 wave.
She added that Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai’s occupancy rate from April 8 to 18 was approximately 20 per cent.
“If the situation continues, the hotel’s occupancy rate may drop to 10 per cent, similar to the previous year when all activities to mark Songkran were cancelled to contain the spread of the virus,” she said.
She urged hotel operators to adjust their businesses to deal with the Covid-19 situation.
“Hotel operators must study the province’s Covid-19 preventive measures to give accurate information to customers,” she added.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Sunday reported 967 new cases, the highest number Thailand has reported on a single day since the outbreak in 2020.
Only three of them were overseas travellers in quarantine — from the United Arab Emirates and France, and one case at the border checkpoint with Malaysia.
Proactive testing led to the discovery of 434 cases, while 530 were exposed to the disease while visiting high-risk areas.
Meanwhile, 53 patients have recovered and been discharged.
As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand had risen to 32,635. Of these, 29,427 had been contracted locally, including 17,531 who were found via proactive testing, while 3,198 were returnees. So far, 28,214 have recovered and been discharged, 4,314 patients are still in hospitals, and 97 have died.
According to Worldometer, as of 11am on Sunday, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 136 million (up by 703,555), 109.37 million have recovered, 22 million are active cases (102,551 in severe condition) and 2.94 million have died (up by 11,274).
Thailand ranks 113th on the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 31.87 million, followed by, Brazil 13.45 million, India 13.36 million, France 5 million, and Russia 4.63 million.
Meanwhile, 15,656 more people have been vaccinated, bringing the total number to 485,957; 2,360 people received the second dose taking the total number of those to have completed the vaccination to 69,439.
Hot weather punctuated by thunderstorms and gusty winds are forecast for upper Thailand, the Thailand Meteorological Department said on Sunday.
The agency also forecast a hot day for Bangkok with haze and isolated thundershowers.
Meanwhile, a moderate high-pressure system from China covers the Northeast of Thailand and the South China Sea, bringing the southerly and southeasterly winds to the lower North, the lower Northeast, the Central including Bangkok and its vicinity, and the East regions.
The easterly winds blowing over the Gulf of Thailand and the South are growing stronger and would bring thundershowers to some areas, the department said.
The weather forecast for the next 24 hours:
North: Hot day with haze; isolated thunderstorms with gusty winds mostly in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phichit, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet and Tak provinces; minimum temperature 21-24 degrees Celsius, maximum 35-39°C; southwesterly winds 10-20 km/hr.
Northeast: Hot day with haze; isolated thundershowers with gusty winds mostly in Loei, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima and Buri Ram provinces; minimum temperature 22-25°C, maximum 33-37°C; southeasterly winds 10-25 km/hr.
Central: Hot with haze during the day; scattered thunderstorms with gusty winds mostly in Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Lopburi, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi provinces; minimum temperature 23-26°C, maximum 35-37°C; southerly winds 10-20 km/hr.
East: Scattered thunderstorms with gusty winds mostly in Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces; minimum temperature 23-25°C; maximum 33-36°C; southeasterly winds 10-30 km/hr; waves less than a metre high and above a metre in thundershowers.
South (east coast): Isolated thundershowers mostly in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla provinces; minimum temperature 22-26°C, maximum 33-34°C; easterly winds 15-30 km/hr; waves about a metre high and 1-2 metres in thundershowers.
South (west coast): Isolated thundershowers mostly in Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi provinces; minimum temperature 22-26°C, maximum 33-36°C; easterly winds 15-30 km/hr; waves about a metre high and 1-2 metres in thundershowers.
Bangkok and its vicinity: Hot day with haze; isolated thundershowers; minimum temperature 25-27°C, maximum 35-37°C; southerly winds 10-20 km/hr.
Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) has posted a video on YouTube, asking the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to repay the costs it had incurred running the Green Line extension.
The BTSC has repeatedly demanded from the BMA repayment of the Bt30-billion debt it had incurred from operating the Green Line extension and related expenses since 2018. The payment was due on March 31.
BTSC is a subsidiary of the SET-listed BTS Group Holdings Plc, and owns the Silom Line from National Stadium to the Taksin Bridge station, and the Sukhumvit route from Mor Chit to On Nut. The extensions of those two lines are owned by the BMA, which had hired BTSC to operate the service.
Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang in February had said that the city administration did not have money to repay the debt.
The video released on Friday had voiceover by BTS director Surapong Laoha-Unya.
In thevideo, the Skytrain operator mentions the Bt30-billion debt, which includes over Bt9.6 billion in wages for operating the Green Line extension since 2018 and purchase of a train operating system worth over Bt20 billion.
“The company has tried its best to show responsibility, as well as offer a solution for the problem. But it seems there are problems within problems, which the BTSC cannot tackle,” the director said in the video.
Surapong also told the public that, “there are people who do not want this issue to be resolved so they create reasons to obstruct it, without caring about its effect on the future, especially on the general people.”
In late January, the BTSC had threatened to suspend the train services unless the BMA paid its debt for operating the Green Line extension since 2018.
H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, sent a message of condolences to The Right Honourable Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April 2021.
Your Right Honourable,
I was deeply saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the Windsor Castle on 9 April 2021.
His lifelong services and unwavering dedication to diverse noble causes, especially the welfare of young people, epitomised his legacy and exceptional leadership. His several visits to Thailand by himself and together with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be fondly remembered and cherished by the Thai people. His Royal Highness touched many hearts and minds with his generosity and compassion.
On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand, I wish to extend to Your Right Honourable and the British people our deepest condolences and sympathy for this irreparable loss. We join the British people in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the British people in this time of sadness.
Accept, Your Right Honourable, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
The Royal Thai Navy has ordered any personnel who had attended a training exercise with Army officers at the Ban Chanthakhlem training centre in Chanthaburi province from April 7 to get tested for Covid-19 and remain in self-quarantine to monitor their symptoms, a source said on Saturday.
The order was issued after a female Army lieutenant, who had gone to a restaurant in the Thong Lor area, tested positive for Covid-19.
“She attended the joint training with the Navy on April 8 and 9, whereas Army officers from her group had attended the training since April 7,” said the source.
“The training was also attended by Admiral Chatchai Sriworakhan, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, among other high-ranking Navy officers.”
According to the source, the timeline of the infected lieutenant was as follows:
April 2: She went to a restaurant in the Thong Lor area with her civilian friends who had earlier visited entertainment venues in the area.
April 3-4: She stayed at home all day.
April 5: She went to work at Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters in Bangkok from 8am to 4pm.
April 6: She stayed at home all day.
April 7: She went to work at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters from 8am to 3pm, before traveling to Chanthaburi province where she stayed at Pimdara Hotel.
April 8: She went to Ban Chanthakhlem training centre at 11.30am and learned that her friend, whom she had met on April 2, had contracted Covid-19. She went to Prapokklao Hospital in Chanthaburi to get tested at 4pm before going to a restaurant in the province for dinner and went back to the hotel at 11pm.
April 9: She went to Ban Chanthakhlem training centre at 9.30am and left the centre at 2pm. At 3.40pm the hospital notified her that she had tested positive for Covid-19, prompting her to get admitted to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok at 6pm.
The source added that colleagues of the lieutenant also had participated in the ceremony to celebrate the 112th anniversary of the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Bangkok’s Dusit district on April 7, which was attended by several senior Army officers, including Military Commander-in-Chief General Chalermpol Srisawat and Army secretary-general General Nath Intharacharoen.
Maj-General Theeraphong Patthamasingh na Ayutthaya, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, said on Saturday that the Army was investigating the timeline of all related personnel and had told four officers who had close contact with the lieutenant to get tested and remain in quarantine.
“General Chalermpol is already aware of the situation and has ordered all related units to submit the timeline of all personnel to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
“There is no cover-up of information by the Armed Forces as rumoured on social media,” he insisted.
More than half a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given to Thai people across the country, a government official said on Saturday.
Government deputy spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said that 1,038,256 doses of vaccine had been distributed to hospitals and medical places in the country. Of these, 952,205 doses were of AstraZeneca and the rest 86,060 Sinovac.
From February 28 to April 9, a total of 537,380 doses were administered in 77 provinces.
Of the 537,380, 470,301 people have received the first dose, while 67,079 people have got both doses. Most of the inoculated people were medical personnel.
Provinces with the most inoculations were: Bangkok (113,367), Samut Sakhon (113,111), Phuket (76,704), Surat Thani (26,735), Tak (24,030), Samut Prakan (23,646), Nonthaburi (21,621), Chonburi (14,711), Pathum Thani (14,184) and Rayong (9,288).
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul posted on his Facebook @AnutinC that 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccine had arrived in Thailand on Saturday morning, and the ministry would distribute them to the people as soon as possible.