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Chiang Mai shuts last field hospital after Covid cases drop

 The northern province has announced the closure of its last field hospital after doctors sent the final two patients home on Wednesday following their full recovery from Covid-19.

The decision came after the province had seen new infections drop to single digits and planning begin for reopening to fully vaccinated tourists.

Field hospital director Amporn Iamsri declared the makeshift hospital at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Muang district closed after sending off the last two patients.

He said all staff working at the field hospital will be withdrawn to their hospitals next Tuesday but all the equipment will not be moved out until the end of this month in case the coronavirus situation worsens.

While new patients will for now be treated at regular hospitals, the field hospital can be reopened within days if new clusters emerge in Chiang Mai, said Dr Amporn, who is director of Mae Wang Hospital in Mae Wang district.

The field hospital has treated more than 2,500 patients since it was set up on April 9.

New coronavirus transmissions in Chiang Mai have dwindled since last month. It reported only one new case on Wednesday, taking the tally of new cases to 4,107 since the third outbreak began in April.

Other field hospitals in the province, including the one at Chiang Mai Unviersity, have also been closed.

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Medical staff celebrate the closure of the field hospital at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre on Wednesday. (Photo by Panumet Tanraksa)

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