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Thailand considers shutting down Covid ‘hospitels’, hotel isolation facilities

Flickr/Ian Guttridge

Thailand’s health ministry is considering closing down the country’s ‘hospitel’ and hotel isolation facilities as most Covid-19 patients now self-isolate at home, or aren’t even isolating at all.

It’s the latest move since the country announced its gradual downgrading of the Covid-19 ’emergency’ in Thailand. However, the CCSA, the country’s Covid taskforce still meets every 2 weeks and can act without referring to the Thai parliament for any rules or regulations pertaining to the Covid situation and general health policy related to the pandemic. The emergency decree is also still in force, and has been since April 2020.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Dr Thares Krainairawiwong says a proposal will be submitted to Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, in anticipation of confirming the move by September 1.

The chief of the Department of Health Service Support says a recent poll shows that only 11 hospitels (a condo room or hotel room which is registered to act as a quarantine facility) and 6 hotel isolation facilities are still in operation, offering 4,720 beds between them. This compares to 76 hospitels and 31 hotel quarantine facilities last year, during the peak of Thailand’s Covid-19/Delta variant outbreak.

“Currently most of the infected patients are having mild or no symptoms and can be treated under the OPSI system or via home isolation, therefore the need for these hospitels and hotel isolation is growing smaller.”

In addition to self-isolating at home, Thares says Covid-19 patients seeking treatment can opt to use the telemedicine system run by the National Health Security Office. The NHSO uses 3 apps to run the treatment service. These include Clicknic, with a focus on high-risk groups, such as patients over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions. The others are Good Doctor Technology and MorDee, for patients who only have mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, the NHSO is working with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to set up Covid-19 booths at community centres and shopping centres in the capital. The booths would offer Covid-19 testing and offer treatment prescriptions for those who test positive.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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