Covid-19 exposure quarantine may be reduced to 7 days

FILE PHOTO: For those exposed to Covid-19, quarantine may be reduced to 7-days.

As officials reevaluate the Covid-19 restrictions piled on with the outbreak of the Omicron variant, the current directive of 14-day quarantine for groups who are considered at risk with Covid-19 infections may be reduced to just 7 days. The Permanent Secretary for Public Health said that the Ministry of Public Health is considering reducing the time that people are kept in quarantine down to one week so that people will be able to deal with Covid-19 appropriately but then be able to get back to their normal lives more quickly.

The permanent secretary pointed out that the current treatment for those infected with Covid-19 spans a period of about 10 days. He implies that it may be overkill to have people in quarantine 14 days, half a week longer than those who are actually being treated for the virus.

While it seems on the surface to be a bit absurd the quarantine at-risk people longer than the people who actually have infections that need medical attention, the Ministry of Public Health will still wait for medical experts to come to final conclusions before laying out clear regulations on the quarantine and the possibility of reducing them.

The suggestion put forth by the permanent secretary, though, would be a 1-week quarantine for anybody who came in contact with an infected person. But before the quarantine could finish the at-risk person would need to take an antigen test on the 5th day and then again on the 6th day.

If those 2 tests come back with negative results, they will be allowed to end their quarantine and go back to normal, go out, go to work, and live their life. But, in an abundance of safety, they would be required to test again on the 9th or 10th day after their original quarantine, just to make sure no infection arises that had gone previously undetected.

The possibility of reducing quarantine goes along with a general shift in the focus of officials dealing with Covid-19 away from hospitals and towards home or community isolation programs. Since the majority of infections are relatively mild and sometimes even asymptomatic for those afflicted with the Omicron variant, officials are preparing instead for increased isolation plans to keep the hospitals, which currently have nearly 47,000 beds available, as uncluttered as possible to deal with only the more severe infections and other patients requiring care outside of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.