Thailand's hospitals are on the verge of collapse due to a spread of COVID-19 that has reportedly emanated from the country's nightlife.
The Independent reports that Thailand's third wave of COVID-19, which began in April, has compounded the country's response to the virus. Hospitals are now being flooded as the number of cases rises, creating a crisis where clinics have run out of intensive care beds and doctors are forced to treat patients in parking lots. Reports of victims dying on the streets have angered many in the area.
"We no longer know where to put the sick, in many hospitals the emergency rooms have to be temporarily closed because they no longer have beds," said the head of the medical service Somsak Akksilp in a press conference.
According to Al Jazeera, the "large part" of the new coronavirus cases in Thailand can be traced back to an upscale nightlife in Bangkok, which is allegedly frequented by high-profile politicians.
The problem is not only plaguing Thailand. Numerous venues and nightclubs in Spain, France, Austria and the UK have "triggered coronavirus outbreaks" since the pandemic began. The scourge of the more contagious Delta variant only made the climb worse.
According to the Thai government's public relations department, officials reported 17,669 new coronavirus cases today, July 29, just one day after the highest increase in history of 16,533. That brings the total to over 561,000 – with over 4,500 deaths – as the country handles poor vaccine supplies.
Accordingly, Phuket, Thailand's largest island and a golden goose for its tourism industry, issued a travel ban from August 3rd to 16th.