COVID-19: Thailand faces risks of overburdened medical system hinh anh 1People wait for getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots in Narathiwat, Thailand (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on June 24 affirmed that the country's public health system will not collapse despite the number of hospital beds and health personnel being at critically low levels amid soaring number of new COVID-19 cases.

His assurance came after several senior doctors said the COVID-19 outbreak situation was critical, with some suggesting the government should impose a lockdown in Bangkok for seven days. Anutin said the proposal was worth listening to, but it must be weighed up carefully.

According to Somsak Akksilp, director-general of the Department of Medical Services, there are only 23 beds at state hospitals left for COVID-19 patients suffering severe symptoms.

The situation is expected to worsen if the number of new cases continues to soar at the current rate, the official said.

He said the Public Health Ministry is trying to increase the number of beds for patients with less severe symptoms and the 14-day treatment period at hospitals may be changed to 10 days, after which they would self-isolate at home. The change means the number of beds will increase by 40 percent.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the director of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), had instructed all agencies involved to help Bangkok and the surrounding provinces to increase the number of beds, particularly for groups of patients with more severe symptoms.

On June 25, Thailand posted 3,644 new COVID-19 infections and 44 deaths, raising the national count and death toll to 236,291 and 1,819, respectively./.