Authorities launched free COVID-19 testing at two centers in Bangkok as part of their efforts to combat the wave of infections spreading through the capital.
The Thai-Japan Stadium in Din Daeng and the Pathum Thani Vocational College are the two places where informal workers and people covered by social security can get free tests, starting today and until May 11.
At the Thai-Japan Stadium, the service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and can test 3,000 people every day.
People can book a free test by visiting https://sso.icntracking.com/icntracking/self_register.php. For registration, they only need to enter their 13-digit national identification number or passport number, in addition to filling out the risk assessment form.
Once the coronavirus test is complete, the recipient can return home immediately as the results will arrive via SMS to the phone number they provided.
The announcement of the free testing came when the Bangkok authorities decided to change their strategy to combat the COVID-19 with Favipiravir. The city governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, said on Wednesday that the capital had devised another plan after procuring more than 600,000 doses of the drug.
Aswin stated that health officials had approved the use of Favipiravir, an antiviral drug, in the “green” category for patients with mild or no symptoms of COVID-19.
He also said that priority for the drug treatment would be given to patients with a higher viral load. According to medics, receiving an early course of Favipiravir for five to 10 days can prevent symptoms from getting worse or reaching the yellow or red level.
Patients in the green category must also consent to get drug treatment.
Reports showed that there is a total of 1,478 COVID-19 patients receiving treatment in Bangkok hospitals. Of that group, 1,192 are in the green category, 199 in the yellow one, and 38 in the red one.
The government’s new strategy comes amid a significant increase in coronavirus cases in the capital and across the country.
On Wednesday, Thailand logged 2,122 new infections, raising the total to 74,900, and 15 more deaths. Of those figures, Bangkok recorded 789 new cases and four fatalities.