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Govt to punish patients who reject stays in field hospitals

Medical staff on Tuesday look at real-time closed-circuit television footage on large screens installed at Nonthaburi Wittayalai School which has been converted into a 700-bed field hospital in Nonthaburi province. The facility is caring for 70 mild-symptom Covid-19 sufferers. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Medical staff on Tuesday look at real-time closed-circuit television footage on large screens installed at Nonthaburi Wittayalai School which has been converted into a 700-bed field hospital in Nonthaburi province. The facility is caring for 70 mild-symptom Covid-19 sufferers. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Public Health Ministry is considering taking legal action against a number of Covid-19 patients who refused to be transferred to field hospitals for treatment.

The move comes after 74 Covid-19 patients, mostly in Bangkok, opted to stay home. They told the ministry that staying at field hospitals would be inconvenient, deputy public health minister Sathit Pitutecha said.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Sathit said he felt angry when told this.

“Every Covid-19 patient must be taken care of by medical personnel from the Ministry of Public Health at a ministry medical facility, otherwise they violate the communicable disease law.

“The ministry is considering taking legal action against those who have refused to follow ministry regulations,” he said.

He said he has obtained information that those patients who refused to be transferred to field hospitals were from the cluster linked to pubs and bars in the Thong Lor area.

They were from well-to-do families. They told the ministry staff that they wanted to stay in private rooms in hospitals only.

He went on to say that it was difficult to predict the severity of symptoms among those who contract Covid-19. Symptoms could get worse at any time making the risk greater for them if they are not closely monitored by ministry medical personnel.

Mr Sathit pointed to the case of comedian Kom Chuanchen who was recently infected. Early on symptoms were mild and he could communicate normally. But now he is in intensive care with lung problems.

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday summoned two executives of the Krystal Club and Emerald Lounge for questioning on May 3 at Thong Lor police station.

Kiattipong Khamtai and Decha Pilalee are accused of violating the emergency decree and opening the entertainment venues without permission.

Reference