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Chiang Mai field hospital ready for tougher cases


Chiang Mai field hospital ready for tougher cases

As local case numbers rise, more beds set aside for ‘yellow-coded’ Covid patients

Health officials review the floor plan of the field hospital set up at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)

CHIANG MAI: The field hospital in this northern province is adjusting to admit more Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms instead of only people with no or mild symptoms as local case numbers are on the rise again.

The site at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre had 1,500 beds for so-called green-coded patients, but 150 beds for yellow-coded patients would be ready by Monday, said Dr Kochaporn Inthawong, deputy director of the facility and director of Chiang Dao Hospital.

The change was a response to an increase in yellow-coded patients who are now occupying almost all available beds for Covid patients at conventional hospitals, she said. As of Friday, the field hospital had admitted about 30 yellow-coded Covid patients.

“Treatment is important for yellow-coded patients who have lung-related symptoms,” Dr Kochaporn said. “They need medicine, saline solution, oxygen and regular lung X-rays.

“Importantly, they need close treatment from doctors and nurses. Otherwise, yellow-coded patients would develop more severe symptoms that could be fatal.”

The field hospital is sending some green-coded patients to isolation centres in their communities or their own homes.

Dr Kochaporn also said more doctors and nurses would be needed on the site. For 1,500 green-coded patients, the field hospital needed only two doctors and 10 nurses and other staff per shift. If it had 150 yellow-coded patients, it would need at least five doctors and 20-30 nurses per shift, she said.

On Friday, Chiang Mai reported 356 new Covid infections and two new fatalities. Since April, it has logged 13,368 cases, 9,774 of whom have fully recovered.

The biggest cluster of patients started at the Muang Mai market in Muang district and now includes 1,232 people. Most were at-risk people whose infections were confirmed by their third coronavirus test.

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