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Over Locals’ Protests, Samut Sakhon Opens Covid-19 Field Hospital

field hospital for migrant workers from Samut Sakhon’s central seafood market is now ready for service.
A Covid-19 field hospital for migrant workers from Samut Sakhon’s central seafood market is now ready for service.

A Covid-19 field hospital for migrant workers from Samut Sakhon’s central seafood market is now ready for service.

The field hospital was set up in the area of the seafood market, which is the epicenter of a new outbreak of Covid-19. It is equipped with an administration center manned by the Ministry of Public Health, and a mobile hospital tent with white partitions to clearly delineate its perimeter.

The Samut Sakhon Provincial Administrative Organization has supplied the hospital with a lavatory truck as well as color-coded waste bins for sorting general garbage from bio-hazardous material.

The director and officials of Bamrasnaduras Institute alongside Department of Disease Control staff have taken up stations at the field hospital and are ready to take on patients with minor symptoms, while those in poor condition will be sent to a larger facility.

The temporary facility is also handling testing of migrant workers. It currently has 30 beds but is slated to grow to a maximum 100 beds with accompanying physicians, nurses and medical equipment.

The market itself is under 24-hour security by crowd control police and provincial police as well as soldiers from Kamphaeng Phet Akkarayothin Camp.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said Friday that the hospital had to be located in Samut Sakhon’s Muang District to separate infected patients from those who are still under investigation.

Anupong spoke after local residents gathered to protest the plan, over fears that the hospital will increase the infection risk in their communities.

On Thursday, hundreds of locals showed up at the Thailand National Sports University Samut Sakhon campus to block efforts to turn the campus into a field hospital for Covid-19 patients.

The minister said the field hospital was necessary as Samut Sakhon has limited facilities to safely separate the infected from those who need further monitoring or testing.

This story includes reporting from the National News Bureau of Thailand.