'No closures' when virus hits schools
The Ministry of Education announced a new set of control measures for schools and universities, stating that school closures may no longer be necessary after the coronavirus' reclassification.
Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong revealed at a press conference on Monday that the ministry had revoked three notifications on the pandemic in schools after the reclassification of the virus on Oct 1.
However, schools are still considered higher risk as group activities are inevitable, said Miss Trinuch.
"Some regulations, such as wearing a face mask in a closed area and organising classes, are still needed," she said.
"However, since the pandemic situation in Thailand is now considered manageable, school closures are not necessary, and classroom activities are going to be situationally adjusted instead of closed if Covid-infected students or teachers are identified."
The minister stated that the ministry was still prioritising the health and safety of all education personnel, and added that more projects to alleviate health concerns in schools across the country are still to come.
Atthaphon Sangkhwasee, the acting permanent secretary, suggested the ministry adopt a tracking system ahead of further notifications on school procedures.
Dr Sarawut Boonsook, a deputy director of the Department of Health, endorsed the new policy to keep schools open where possible and also suggested schools prioritise regular screening using both self-testing kits and group vaccination.
According to the Department of Health, the number of Covid-positive paediatric patients needing treatment in hospital has significantly fallen over the past few months, with fewer deaths and critical-care patients.
However, only 1.1% of the just over 5 million five-to-11-year-olds in the country have so far had the full three-dose course of vaccine, she told reporters.