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Home death sparks outcry over bed shortages

Home death sparks outcry over bed shortages

BANGKOK: The death of an 85-year-old while waiting at home to be admitted to hospital for COVID-19 treatment has sparked a public outcry over bed shortages for virus patients.

COVID-19Coronavirushealthdeath
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 24 April 2021, 09:55AM


An elderly woman from Bang Kholaem district (right) begs for someone to help her gravely ill sister get hospital treatment. Photo: Drama-addict Facebook page

An elderly woman from Bang Kholaem district (right) begs for someone to help her gravely ill sister get hospital treatment. Photo: Drama-addict Facebook page

The woman, who died on Thursday, was among six elderly members of a family living in a shop house in Bang Kholaem district of Bangkok struck by the virus, reports the Bangkok Post.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Friday (Apr 23) said he was sorry for the death.

Although insisting the Public Health Ministry is trying its best in working to coordinate COVID-19 hospital admissions with available beds, Mr Anutin promised the ministry will work harder to find space for those in most need.

On Thursday, ‘Drama-addict’, a popular Facebook page run by a doctor, posted a plea by a relative of the family, who lives on Soi Charoen Rat 5, for help in finding hospital beds.

Three of the six had already been sent to the hospital in an ambulance, while the other three, including the 85-year-old patient who later died, had been left at home, according to the Facebook page.

The author later updated the post saying the 85-year-old had died and an ambulance was on its way to pick up the other two, who were 70 and 75 years old.

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“I’m not exaggerating. But this is exactly what happened in Italy in the first wave of Covid-19 there.

“And as the healthcare system fails, not only those infected with Covid-19 will be dying but also other patients with critical health conditions,” wrote the Facebook page administrator.

The body of the dead patient was transported for funeral arrangements immediately after the death on Thursday night, according to a source.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration was alerted to the first COVID-19 infection in the family, an 89-year-old, before the Songkran holiday, said the source. It is unclear what action was taken.

Netizens slammed authorities over the care given to the family and warned that unless action is taken, home deaths could follow the same sharp upward curve seen in other countries at similar stages of the outbreak.

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Christy Sweet | 24 April 2021 - 14:48:33

Lock it down now for 3 measly weeks or suffer the consequences for months  of a Thai variant resulting in major countries restricting travel to Thailand.

Kurt | 24 April 2021 - 11:23:30

As expected, the beginning of icu beds shortage. RIP to the old lady that didn't get in time a icu bed.  Wonder how many time to come minister Anutin has to say 'sorry' for same reason. In mean time Thai can fly domestic not vaccinated, not tested to Phuket. Puzzled what they look for on Phuket as everything is so very much closed that a normal holiday is impossible.

 

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