Prison visits set to resume from June 1

Prison visits set to resume from June 1

People will be allowed to visit prison inmates again from June 1, but the Corrections Department has still to decide what conditions to set, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Wednesday.

The Justice Ministry earlier suspended prison visits until May 31 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Somsak said lifting the suspension was discussed at a meeting at the ministry on Wednesday.

It was agreed the Corrections Department would have to set down conditions for visitors to follow, in compliance with announcements issued in each province regarding disease control measures.

Each prison will have to set aside a suitable space for visits, and take into consideration social distancing rules and a suitable number of visitors per day.

Most importantly, Covid-19 must not spread in prisons, he said.

Meanwhile, Thammasat University said it has closed down its Covid-19 field hospital because there are no more coronavirus patients or quarantined returnees from other countries in need of the space.

Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, Thammasat University's Vice Rector, said the last of 38 Covid-19 patients the field hospital took in from other hospitals has recovered and was discharged last Saturday.

The university's field hospital was set up to relieve overcrowding in other hospitals in March when the number of Covid-19 patients was rising rapidly.

Writing on his Facebook, Mr Prinya said the field hospital had cared for a total of 60 people, 38 of whom were infected patients, while the other 22 were Thai returnees, required to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

However, he said, the hospital and medical personnel will remain on standby in case Covid-19 infections begin to surge again during the upcoming rainy season.

Some experts say the season could provide ideal conditions for the virus to spread.

He said the hospital will remain on standby until at least September.

The hospital had operated for a total of 54 days after the first patient was admitted on March 26, its director, Chatchai Mingmalairak said.

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