Police and military officials in Thailand have raided a field hospital with a thousand beds after a tip-off suggested some of its patients were involved in group sex, brawls and drug abuse. 

Images of Thai police and officials of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) clad in coronavirus-protecting gear at a Covid-19 hospital in central Thailand were shared by local media this week. The raid, led by a local commander for the government’s disease situation control unit, happened on Thursday at the facility in Samut Prakan province near Bangkok.

The temporary hospital for people ill with the deadly virus was stormed after officials and law enforcement learned that some of the patients had been violating hospital rules. Reports of “gambling, quarrels resulting in physical harm, drug abuse and sexual intercourse with multiple partners” were received, according to Thai media. 

“We know that because we have surveillance cameras in every corner,” head of the local operations division for the Covid-19 situation control, Colonel Krispanu Chamnongwong said. 

Patients have been questioned and CCTV footage reviewed, showing male and female patients going into each others’ separate wards. Reports suggested that some people were taking drugs, however the quality of the footage was not good enough to identify exact suspects. 

More than 20 packs of cigarettes and electronic cigarette devices were smuggled into the hospital, where many suffer from the respiratory virus, ISOC officials told local media. 

While no arrests have been made, officials said the situation was very disappointing, considering how many people are desperate for hospital treatment with beds full. They called for the patients to observe hospital rules in respect for doctors, nurses and the whole nation affected by the pandemic.

To deal with the third wave of coronavirus, which has affected over 1.1 million Thai patients since April, emergency field hospitals have been arranged all over the country. On Sunday, Thailand registered 16,500 cases and 264 deaths over the previous 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry. It was the first time all month that cases had dropped below 17,000.

More than half of the fatalities were recorded in Bangkok and its five neighboring provinces, including Samut Prakan.

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