The public health ministry said government officials were ordered to work from home after the New Year’s holidays and the private sector was “urged to do the same” to protect their employees.
Schools may also face a return to online learning in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron variant, according to a report from the Bangkok Post. Sathit Pitutecha of the ministry said that despite early studies showing Omicron can cause milder illness, new cases should be kept to a minimum to avoid affecting Thailand’s reopening.
“The ministry has a policy for government officials to work from home after the New Year to prevent the spread of the virus. January 4th, the first working day after the holidays, we’ll take another look. The government has led efforts to take precautions against Covid-19 and the private sector would be better off following suit. “
The Bangkok Post reports that Sathit acknowledges that the spread of Omicron is virtually inevitable during the New Years holidays, but is particularly concerned about children under 12. Because they are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
He said hospitals run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have been urged to prepare for child patients, adding that private hospitals may also be asked to take care of children with severe symptoms. Depending on the severity of the push, schools could revert to online learning.
“We will be looking at the factors that could lead to infections before we can decide whether school children will continue to study online.”
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that more cases have been linked to a cluster of infections reported in the northeastern province of Kalasin. The epidemic was triggered by a couple who returned from Belgium on December 10, tested negative on arrival. They then met friends and frequented a number of places, before subsequently testing positive with the Omicron variant. In the past 24 hours, Kalasin reported 54 new infections. A total of 173 infections have now been attributed to the couple. Of these, 66 have been confirmed as Omicron, while results are pending for the rest.
THE SOURCE: Bangkok Post