At least 100 beds along with the required medical equipment will be installed in the building, which so far has served as the venue for only a handful of government meetings.
The ground-floor level, which can accommodate 40 beds, will be used initially to treat COVID-19 patients who do not have serious symptoms, Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana explained.
The second floor of the building can accommodate a further 70 beds, he added.
“Patients suffering severe symptoms and who need respirators will continue to be treated at Vachira Phuket Hospital,” the Governor said.
Pillows, beds and blankets will be provided by private businesses, Governor Phakaphong noted, adding that the “field hospital” is expected to open on Friday (Mar 27).
Governor Phakaphong inspected the building yesterday (Mar 23), joined by Phuket Vice Governors Phichet Panaphong and Wongsakorn Noonchukhan and a host of other officials.
“The new convention hall has not been officially opened yet. It is in the same compound as the Phuket Provincial Hall,” Governor Phakaphong said.
“Plus, there are four hotels in Phuket Town that have also offered their support to accommodate Person Under Investigation (PUI) cases [people so far only suspected of being infected with the virus] without any payment. They have room for another 400-500 patients,” he said.
Governor Phakaphong did not identify which hotels had offered to accommodate PUIs.
Phuket Provincial Health officials yesterday (Mar 23) confirmed four new cases of people being infected with COVID-19 in Phuket, bringing the official total number of people in Phuket confirmed as infected with the virus since the outbreak began to 17.
So far 612 people have been put under observation for possible infection of the virus, officials said yesterday.
In total, 569 “Persons Under Investigation” (PUI) had been checked and “gone home”.
The remaining 41 remain in hospital under observation.
Of those 41 still in hospital, 26 are waiting for test results to confirm whether they have COVID-19, officials said. (See story here.)