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City Hall will open 41 community isolation centers to ease the crunch on hospitals, where the demand for beds has jumped by three quarters since New Year’s Day.

These ad hoc emergency care spots will serve as waiting areas for the infected until they can be transferred to hospitals, which are being overwhelmed by patients throughout the nation. As the fourth wave of COVID-19 surges, the number of patients hospitalized with the disease increased to 58,159 today. That’s 25,000 more than there were Jan. 1.

Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang said that the 41 centers will offer more than 5,100 beds between them.

“To contain the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, district offices have been ordered to set up Emergency Operation Centres to monitor the Omicron situation in Bangkok,” Aswin said.

He also urged all 50 district offices to implement stricter restrictions at venues deemed high risk.

Kahchit Chatchawanit, permanent secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said yesterday that 13 centers were already open.

One triage center, located in Dusit District, has 52 beds dedicated to children 5 to 12.

Centers that have opened to the public can be found at RBS Logistics in Lat Phrao, the Tan Pun Waiting Centre in Huai Khwang, Wat Saphan Khlong Toei, and other locations. 

The new year surge of COVID cases continues to rise. Health officials today reported 7,926 confirmed cases today, and 13 more fatalities. 

Omicron cases are thought to be widely underreported, though Chulalongkorn University virologist Yong Poovorawan on Saturday estimated that it accounts for about about 30% of new cases.

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