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Southern Thailand | Covid-19 Outbreak

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  • Southern Thailand | Covid-19 Outbreak

    High Covid-19 infections in the Deep South fuel lockdown fears

    The Deep South of Thailand, particularly Songkhla and Pattani, has seen a surge in Covid-19 infections, prompting calls for action and fears of lockdowns to come. Covid-19 clusters have been mainly centred in factories and businesses, with outbreaks traced to a wedding banquet and a barbecue restaurant, but some cases are still crossing provincial lines into the southern provinces.

    Chana, Hat Yai, Muang, Rattaphum, Saba Yoi, Sadao, Singha Nakhon, and Thepha districts were identified as particularly at-risk hotspots. In Songkhla, over 6,400 patients are currently hospitalised from Covid-19 and there has been more than 160 deaths in the province. In Pattani there were 6 deaths from Covid-19 yesterday, and the province is down to 883 beds available in hospitals.

    Yesterday Songkhla, currently the province with the8th highest total number of infections, saw 504 new infections, with an average of 489 new infections per day this month and 34,792 infections since the beginning Covid-19. Yala, the 12th most infected province in Thailand, saw 650 new infections, with an average of 653 new infections per day this month and 28,631 infections throughout the pandemic.

    Narathiwat ranks 13th and saw 470 new infections, 458 per day average in October, and 27,861 total infections. Pattani ranks 17th, with 413 infections yesterday, 397 per day average this month, and 24,989 total infections.

    PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the cooperation of agencies to coordinate and increase efforts to battle the high numbers of Covid-19 cases, according to Deputy Minister of Interior Nipon Bunyamanee. Increases in field hospitals are necessary to handle the limited capacity to treat Covid-19 patients, and home isolation programmes should be ramped up, along with more quarantine facilities.

    Officials report that the infections numbers started to climb as restrictions were eased and people became complacent, no longer practising proper social distancing or wearing masks in public, leading to increased spreading of Covid-19. Now many fear if the virus isn’t reined in, another strict lockdown could be coming.

  • #2
    Pattani Covid-19 spike fills nearly all field hospital beds

    In the Deep South province of Pattani, health officials are reporting that field hospital beds are about full with 4,000 patients in care as Covid-19 numbers surge in the region. The Pattani Provincial Public Health Office is racing to create community isolation treatment centres to house up to 10,000 patients as Covid-19 infections continue to mount. The region is imposing stronger Covid-19 safety measures as the head of the PPPHO has asked the disease control committee to tighten up regulations on eating businesses, markets, and mosques in the province.

    Pattani has had nearly 27,000 Covid-19 infections with a record 566 new infections yesterday and 327 cumulative deaths. Muang district alone has 1,264 active infections currently and has reopened several field hospitals to deal with the patient burden.

    Pattani Hospital is also struggling to keep up with the surge in infections, not only scrambling for available beds, but also experiencing a staffing shortage as some of the medical workers there have caught Covid-19 as well. Some patients are being transferred to Somdejprayuparach Hospital in Sai Buri district, especially those requiring surgery as Pattani Hospital lacks the surgical staff to carry out the procedures.

    Neighbouring provinces aren’t faring much better, as Songkhla saw 475 new Covid-19 infections yesterday bringing their active infections total to 6,340 currently. Daily new infections over the past week have been regularly between 400 and 600 each day.

    Over 36,000 people have been infected with the virus so far, and provincial officials have now set up checkpoints for entry from the high-risk southern provinces surrounding it. District hotspots for outbreaks include Hat Yai, Chana, Muang, Rattaphum, Saba Yoi , Singha Nakhon, and Thepa districts.

    Vaccination is a key issue at the root of the surge of Covid-19 cases in Pattani, with less than 50% of the population vaccinated and 90% of the patients currently in treatment for Covid-19 being unvaccinated.

    The surge in Covid-19 cases is expected to continue for the new few weeks at least.


    • #3
      Covid-19 in Southern provinces prompts Songkhla checkpoint

      As Thailand’s Deep South faces surges in Covid-19 infections, people crossing from the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala will face checkpoints when crossing into Songkhla. The checkpoints will stop travellers crossing the southern provincial border to do random Covid-19 screening.

      Pattani recorded 566 new Covid-19 infections yesterday, the most cases out of the southern provinces, and reported that their hospital beds were completely full. Infections have been increasing in the region and measures are being taken to attempt to stop the spread of the virus and cope with the infected.

      Provincial authorities are racing to set up community isolation facilities, aiming to have the ability to house up to 10,000 people, in an attempt to free up hospital beds in the province as the infection numbers continue to rise. In Yala, 27 workers at a para-rubber factory were infected with Covid-19 but since the hospitals and even field hospitals are full, they have been moved to home isolation.

      Officials are also implementing stricter Covid-19 safety measures, moving back to takeaway-only rules for restaurants unless both the full staff and the dine-in customers are fully vaccinated.

      The surge in Covid-19 infections has been blamed on social gatherings without proper face masks and social distancing, while many are still hesitant to get vaccinated. The governor of Songkhla says that they are increasing their efforts to get everyone vaccinated and hope to reach the 70% mark in the residents of the province by the end of the month.

      Songkhla is seeking an additional 250,000 vaccines for their residents as well as 170,000 antigen test kits in an effort to speed up both vaccination and Covid-19 testing to identify and separate new patients in home or community isolation programmes.

      Meanwhile, the Hat Yai Sandbox still intends to launch its own reopening in the next few days despite high Covid-19 numbers. Many shops and businesses in the district are participating in the Sandbox reopening hoping to boost the local economy, according to the chairman of the Tourists Business Federation of Songkhla.