Charter buses used to send COVID-19 patients in Bangkok back home


Authorities in Thailand have started using charter buses to send some COVID-19 patients in Bangkok for treatment in their home provinces.

The move will help alleviate the burden on the capital’s strained medical system, health officials said.

Transport Company Limited (BMTA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport, are using state run buses to drop COVID-19 infected patients at treatment facilities across Thailand.

Most of the people being transported on the buses are either asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms such as as fever, cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis, health official said.

The first of the buses will take the infected patients from Siriraj Hospital for further treatment at Busarakham Hospital in Nonthaburi, before sending them to the provinces where they are legally registered as living.

Officials said the strictest measures possible are in place to protect bus drivers and health care workers while the patients are being transferred.

A screen protects the driver from coming into direct contact with passengers, while plastic covers are placed on seats with all buses undergoing cleaning and disinfection before and after transporting passengers.

Last month, a train was used to transport 137 COVID-19 infected patients from Bangkok to Isaan.

The train, dubbed the ‘COVID express’ transported patients with mild to moderate symptoms from the capital to Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.