In the latest tragedy associated with hospital bed shortages, an elderly man jumped to his death from a three-storey building after his coronavirus-infected daughter died while waiting to be hospitalised.
Pengkee Sae Tia, 84, was found dead in front of the building on Soi Phayanak, off Banthat Thong Road in Ratchathewi district early yesterday morning.
Pengkee’s 57-year-old daughter Pranee Hatthasothana was found dead inside the building when police and a medical team got there.
Channel 3 reported that the dead man’s son told police Pranee was infected by a building caretaker. She tested positive on 29th June and was waiting for a bed in order to be admitted to hospital for treatment.
Citing information provided by the neighbours, police said Pengkee was left devastated by the death of his daughter.
Relatives cast no doubts over his death. However, police planned to question them further. Security camera footage showed the elderly man jumped from the second floor of the building at around 4am.
Previously on Thursday, a 49-year-old man was found dead in his house in Thawi Watthana district of Bangkok while waiting for a hospital bed to become available so he could be admitted for treatment.
His 29-year-old wife, nine-year-old daughter and two-year-old son have all been infected with COVID-19 and were still waiting to be hospitalised by the time the man’s death was known.
The wife said her husband had received a COVID-19 shot on 18th June, fell ill on 22nd June and saw a doctor at a hospital on 29th June when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was told to go home and wait until a hospital bed became available.
He revisited the hospital again on 30th June after having difficulty breathing yet still couldn’t be admitted as all beds were still full, she said.
The hospital called the family later on Thursday and promised to get an ambulance to pick the man up at 10am, but no one showed up until he died that night, said his wife.
Chao Mikhuat, a former deputy spokesman for the Democrat Party, meanwhile, revealed in a Facebook post that more than 20 people had asked him for help with finding a hospital bed for their relatives who were infected with and sickened by COVID-19.
In one case, he said, a mother and her daughter in Ruam Chai Phibun 2 community in Huai Khwang district of Bangkok died while still waiting to be hospitalised.
The mother died on 28th June while her daughter passed away on 30th June, he said.
“This is an extremely serious problem. If the government still cannot resolve hospital bed shortages, more and more people will almost certainly die at home while waiting to be hospitalised,” he said.
Bangkok has a total of just 3,121 beds at eight hospitals, six field hospitals and three so-called hospitels, which all now need to be booked ahead of admission, said Dr Suksan Kittisupphakon, director of the Medical Service Department of City Hall.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was instructing all concerned organisations to speed up admitting COVID-19 patients to hospitals.