COVID-19 Situation Update 3

Date: August 13th 2021

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Background

Both Thailand and Burma are currently experiencing severe epidemics of COVID-19, driven especially by new variants including the highly transmissible delta variant. The current wave of the epidemic in Tak Province, bordering Burma, began in late June with large outbreaks detected in factories in the area. With over 4,160 patients currently in treatment for the disease, it continues to severely strain the medical system. On Thursday, August 12th, there were 192 new cases diagnosed in Tak, with 140 of those in Mae Sot, home to the clinic, and the nearby districts of Phop Phra, Mae Ramat, and Tha Song Yang. Since April 1st, 2021, a total of 6,748 cases have been reported in the province (Tak Provincial Public Relations Office Page).

On June 28th, the Mae Tao Clinic became an official field hospital for the Mae Sot public health system, providing care for between 30-70 infected individuals deemed low risk for developing complications or severe disease. While MTC staff members are responsible for providing daily care, they work in partnership with medical staff of the Mae Sot Hospital and other Thai public health entities, closely monitoring patients for evidence of clinical deterioration and facilitating timely referrals if necessary. To date, the Mae Tao Clinic has served approximately 434 COVID-19 patients who have been referred from the Thai health system, are staff from MTC and partner organizations or are residents of the surrounding communities.

On July 9th, our first staff member was found to be infected with COVID-19. This prompted the clinic, working in conjunction with local health partners, to pursue aggressive contact tracing and screen all members of the staff, along with household contacts, nearby community members, and others with possible exposure.

As a precaution, starting on July 15th, most clinical services at the clinic were suspended indefinitely in order to protect the health and safety of our staff members, their families, and all the communities we serve. This pause was also to allow us to efficiently focus our efforts on identifying and taking care of infected members of the extended MTC family and the community.

Category Total case New case Referred to MSH Currently under supervision Recovered/

discharged

Clinical staff 54 4 4 23 30
Non clinical staff 91 7 9 43 39
Household contact 83 8 2 24 57
Surrounding community contact 46 23 1 26 19
Patient 18 3 0 3 15
Field Hospital (#4) 142 0 6 29 107
Total 434 45 22 148 267

* Last updated on August 11th 2021

148 people infected with COVID-19 (119 staff, household contact, surrounding community and patient + 29 referred to MTC under the Mae Sot public health system) are currently in isolation[1] in the clinic compound and staff, their household contacts and community members who have had close contact with people confirmed positive are quarantined. A total of 267 people has been discharged after a minimum of 14 days of isolation.

Under the Thai national COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, frontline health workers, including staff from MTC, have been receiving vaccinations this year. Currently, 158 staff of MTC and its partner organizations have received vaccinations, of which 27 are now fully vaccinated (with two doses of Sinovac). Vaccination efforts have been focused on individuals at high risk for infection or its consequences, such as IPD staff, and others at higher risk for exposure, along with those over age 55 and/or with comorbidities. In addition to the 158 staff who have received at least one dose of vaccine, an additional 120 staff members are currently registered for the vaccine program.

Clinical Services

To prevent and control further transmission, during this time, all clinical services remain closed. Please refer to the Facebook pages of the Mae Tao Clinic (in English and Burmese), which will frequently be updated to incorporate the most up-to-date information as it becomes available, particularly during this current unpredictable situation.

There have been many inquiries about testing and vaccinations for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the clinic is unable to provide these services at the present time as they are all currently handled through the Thai health system. If you think you have been exposed and would like testing, please contact the Mae Sot Hospital call center Tel. 065-461-1120 or the COVID-19 call center Tel. 1330. To access COVID-19 treatment, you can register in the Thai health system through the call center Tel. 1130, extension number 14, or add the Line account @sabaideebot and follow further instructions. If you need any assistance in communication for the registration process, please contact Ms Nwe Ni (English, Burmese and Thai language), Tel. 084-820-3743

For the latest vaccine information, please visit the Thai Government Public Relations Department’s official Facebook page. In case you need assistance for maternal health care services (ANC, delivery care and PNC), please visit Mae Sot Hospital or nearest health posts. For those who are in need of assistance in management of non-communicable (chronic) diseases, please contact Ms Sophia Hla (English, Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 081-037-5800 or Ms Wah Kuh Paw (Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 089-961-7316.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program

Following the plan, together with radio broadcasting programs on mental health and psychosocial support, we handed out mental health information leaflets to those in isolation and quarantine to further help increase access to counseling for those in need.

Education Program

Starting on August 2nd,  410 students are enrolled at CDC and the school began online learning sessions. Despite the preparation for teaching online, this transition to remote learning at home has been challenging for some teachers due to limited internet access. However, all CDC teachers are determined to provide students with continued access to education given the current circumstances.

Donations/Support

We are deeply thankful for all those that have and continue to support our work and the communities we work with. For those interested in doing so, please understand that as a COVID-19 field hospital in the midst of a serious epidemic, to ensure safety for everyone, we are very limited in what we are able to accept. We are currently not able to accept cooked food or individually purchased medicines. If you would like to donate clothes or bedding, we respectfully request that these are new and in their original packaging. The supplies that we are currently most in need of are listed below.

General Social Support
Dry food (rice; tinned fish; cooking oil; salt; yellow beans; chili powder; seasoning etc.)
Nutritional supplements (milk; milo)
New bedding (mat; pillow; blanket; mosquito net)
Medical Supplies
PPEs (surgical mask for medical use; face shields; medical/ hospital grade gloves; medical coveralls)
N95 face mask
Infrared Thermometers
Pulse oximeters
Surgical Scrubs
Disinfectants
Alcohol 70% + Glycerin 1% or Alcohol Gel
Lab Supplies
COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing Kits (approved by Thai FDA)*
Glucose test (50/box)
Hygiene Supplies
Personal Hygiene Kit (soap; shampoo; tooth paste & tooth brush; sanitation pad; toilet paper)

*The list of approved kits can be found on the Thai FDA website, here: https://www.fda.moph.go.th/sites/Medical/SitePages/test_kit_covid19.aspx

Please note that this list is dynamic and, given the rapidly evolving circumstances, will be frequently updated to reflect our changing needs and priorities. For further questions regarding donations, please contact the designated persons listed below.

Contact information

For general inquiries and donations, please contact the following:

  • Ms Nwe Ni (English, Burmese and Thai language), Tel. 084-820-3743
  • Ms Naw Annie (English, Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 089-916-5855
  • Ms Pattinee Suanprasert (English and Thai language), Tel. 087-677-1415

For media inquiries:

For clinical inquiries:

  • Ms Sophia Hla (English, Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 081-037-5800
  • Ms Wah Kuh Paw (Burmese and Karen language), Tel. 089-961-7316

For those interested in supporting our COVID-19 emergency response efforts directly: this can be done through deposits/wire transfer to the following account:

Account Name: Suwannimit Foundation for Mae Tao Clinic
Account Number: 016-8-83807-7
Bank and Branch: Kasikorn Bank, Mae Sot
SWIFT Code: KASITHBK
Bank Address: 84/9, Prasart Withi Rd., Mae Sot, Tak Province 63110, Thailand

For more donation information, please visit our donation page: https://maetaoclinic.org/how-to-help/donate/ or contact at fundraising@maetaoclinic.org

[1]  Isolation is used for people with COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus.