Thailand says Covid surge is pushing Bangkok hospitals to brink

BANGKOK : Hospitals in Thailand's capital Bangkok and surrounding province are running out of beds because of a jump in Covid-19 patients, a health official said yesterday, as the country reported a record number of infections for the fourth time this week.

Thailand has in the last few months been struggling with its worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, first detected in India.

The country's Covid-19 task force yesterday reported 17,669 coronavirus cases and 165 deaths, both record highs, while it said 21 people died at home.

"We don't know where to put the sick people any more, the ER (emergency room) units in many hospitals have to be temporarily closed because they no longer have bed spaces," Department of Medical Services head Somsak Akksilp said.

In Bangkok and nearby provinces, more than 1,200 people were waiting for hospital beds, and more than 6,000 called a hotline over the past week requesting treatment, health authorities said. There are more than 37,000 hospital beds in Bangkok, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. - REUTERS