A temporary hospital set up to treat people with Covid-19 in central Thailand turned into a sex and drugs free-for-all, with patients taking drugs, getting into fights, and even indulging in group sex on the large open-plan wards.
Officers from Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command wearing full PPE, led by Colonel Pratuang Kaewtui, Deputy Commander in Chief for the Covid- 19 Situation Control, Internal Security Operations Command, Samut Prakan Province, raided the Samut Pra Ruamjai 5 facility just southwest of Bangkok and questioned around 1,000 patients.
They were unable to detect any illegal drugs, but a large stash of cigarettes and vape sticks – both banned in the hospital – were found.
Hospital managers reviewed CCTV footage but although male and female patients could be seen going into each others’ wards, and a few people appeared to be using illegal drugs, but the images were not clear enough for any of the miscreants to be identified.
Krispanu Chamnongwong, Head of Policy, Planning and News Group, Operations Division of the Covid-19 Situation Control Division Internal Security Operations Command said that there had been problems with drug use as well as outsiders smuggling contraband into the facility and fights between patients. However, he said the fights were "not serious".
He pleaded for patients to behave more responsibly and let the doctors and nurses do their jobs.
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Pop-up Covid wards have sprung up across Thailand in response to the country’s most severe outbreak since the start of the pandemic.
There were 273 Covid-19 fatalities and 18,702 new cases recorded over the past 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported on Friday morning.
One cargo warehouse at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport has been turned into a 1,800-bed field hospital.
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Rienthong Nanna, director of Mongkutwattana Hospital, told Reuters on Wednesday that the airport field hospital was designed for patients with moderate symptoms.
"But if patients’ conditions deteriorate, they will be moved to our other field hospital called Pitak Rachan (Protect the King) Field Hospital," he added.
Just over 5% of the Thai population is fully vaccinated.
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