The Ministry of Public Health will ask the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to impose lockdown restrictions on the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chanthaburi for 28 days to stop the continuing surge of COVID-19 infections.
On Saturday, Deputy Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the measure is necessary because many people considered at risk of contracting the disease have concealed their involvement in activities while others have refused to report to health officials for screening.
Mr Pitutecha said most infections in the three provinces are linked to illegal gambling dens.
The proposed lockdown measures would include travel restrictions to prevent people in the three provinces from leaving the areas unless doing so is absolutely necessary, Mr Pitutecha said.
He said the ministry also plans to ask the CCSA to set up checkpoints along roads linking the three provinces to Bangkok and other regions such as the Burapha Withi Expressway and a highway in Prachin Buri.
The deputy public health minister was in Chon Buri province’s Phra Maha Jetsadaratchao camp on Saturday to receive the delivery of a field hospital from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
The facility was set up with 174 beds to accommodate COVID-19 in-patients after the provincial hospital became overwhelmed.
Navy chief Chatchai Sriworakhan said the RTN realises the severity of the situation at the moment, so has prepared areas in the Phra Maha Jetsadaratchao camp to support the Ministry of Public Health and other government agencies.
“We have transformed our ERC building of the Tank Battalion at Phra Maha Jetsadaratchao camp in Chon Buri into a field hospital,” he said.
Adm Chatchai said the field hospital will focus on treating patients with mild symptoms and those already receiving treatment from main hospitals.
“After receiving the initial treatment from main hospitals, patients will be sent to the field hospital,” he said.
“Patients will be observed at the field hospital and have to stay until test results are negative. If their condition turns out to be too severe, they will be sent back to main hospitals.”