There are so many stories and theories going around the internet about COVID-19, I thought it might be good to share my experience at the hospital in Bangkok testing for the virus so English-speaking people in Thailand can be well-informed.
*Please note that all the information in this blog is my own information which I tried to confirm and attach a source from the authority. But if you are sick or need some official information, please check with the hospital or DDC directly.
There are around 18 hospitals that can test Coronavirus disease in Bangkok at the moment. I called a few and ended up choosing Chula because it’s on the cheaper end. I added the link for all the hospitals and prices at the end of this article.
COVID-19 Testing at Chula Hospital
Chula (King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital) is one of the biggest hospitals in Thailand. There’s no appointment needed. The hospital is pretty huge. If you are lost, just ask for the COVID building and people will know where to take you.
First, you will need to go through the screening process. They asked me a lot of questions to assess my risk level. In my case, I had been having all the symptoms for a week. I also hung out with people that just got back from Japan, and went to the same bars as the group of eleven people that recently tested positive.
The initial screening cost 200thb+. Then the next step is a chest x-ray which cost me 1050thb. Not all the hospital will require the chest x-ray first, you can check with the hospital before going in.
After the x-ray, I got to see the doctor who asked a lot more questions. I wasn’t super sick but still wanted to take the actual COVID-19 test so I needed to pay for a swab test myself. This step cost 2500thb. If you are super sick or fit the risky profile, the swab test will be free. This test involves getting the back of your throat and inside of your nose swabbed for the virus and tested by the lab.
After that, you can go home and they will call/email you the result in a day or two. During this time, it’s recommended to stay home and limit your interaction with other people. My result was negative, as you can see it says “Not Detected” below.
The hospital was not really busy, and everyone seemed to know what they were doing. There were probably around 10-20 people getting tested when I was there.
So the whole thing was 3550thb or around 120USD. It was super fast and accessible if you are in Bangkok. There are no hospitals outside the capital that can test this virus as of now.
Drive-through Corona Virus Testing
Ramkhaeng Hospital just set up drive-through testing on March 14. It costs 6,500 THB. The test is available in the hospital parking lot zone every day between 8 am to 6 pm. The hospital said you can just walk-in any day without an appointment.
COVID-19 Testing Cost
Besides my own experience at Chula, here’s the price list of some other hospitals:
|Hospital||Prices (in THB)|
|Siriraj Piya Maharajkaroon||9,900|
|Phya Thai 2||6,500|
Thank you Thai PBS for the information.
Treatment Information in Thailand
As of March 17, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC) hotline 1422, everyone that tested positive for COVID-19 will receive free treatment, both Thais and foreigners.
The authority will pick you up at home if you are very sick and not capable of traveling to the hospital, but if you can, please go to the hospital yourself.
Traveling to Thailand
According to The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), before March 22, travelers from the Disease Infected Zones (China, Macau, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy, and Iran) will need to present a health certificate issued within 72 hours before traveling verifying that you don’t have COVID-19. Travelers will also need health insurance with at least 100,000 USD coverage upon entering Thailand. Quarantine policy is up to the DDC which says if you show any symptoms, you must notify the immigration officer. If there are no symptoms, you must self-quarantine at designated hotels. During the self-quarantine, you are required to check in with the authority via an app and notify right away if you have any symptoms.
From March 22 (airline check-in time at origin), the policy above applied to non-Thai travelers from every single country.
For Thai people, you will only need a Fit to Fly health certificate and the certified document to travel back by the Thai embassy, Consular, or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Updates about COVID-19 in Thailand
Almost every province are under a lock-down with curfew after 10pm. The lock-down is expected to be done by the end of April.
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 testing in Bangkok, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can. It’s better to contact DDC or official authority directly for anything that is serious.
If you are not in the risky group or have the symptoms, please stay home so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system. Let’s do our part and we will get through this together 🙂