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Schools closed in north-east as shared transport blamed for Covid-19 outbreak

Maya Taylor

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STOCK PHOTO: Flickr/ Melani McAlister
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A Covid-19 outbreak has closed 2 schools in the north-eastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, with students and teachers quarantined. According to a Thai PBS World report, provincial health officials are blaming shared school vans for the spread of the virus. 24 students have tested positive and 295 other students and their teachers have been quarantined for observation.

It’s understood a number of other schools in the area have also closed temporarily and returned to online learning. Thai PBS World reports that provincial health officials used antigen test kits to test 367 students at one school. 19 students tested positive and officials say they will have to take secondary PCR tests to confirm the infection.

Meanwhile, 66 students and teachers in another north-eastern province have tested positive for the virus. It’s understood the first person found to be infected was a teacher, and subsequent testing with antigen test kits uncovered another 65 cases at the school. Following the diagnosis, officials from the Disease Control Operations Centre in Nong Bua Lamphu were forced to quarantine 159 students and their teachers in a school building for 14 days’ observation. The students and teachers are considered high-risk contacts and health officials say anybody who develops Covid-19 symptoms will be sent to hospital.

The school is now closed until November 28 for deep cleaning and disinfection. A number of other schools around Thailand have been forced to close as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks that followed the start of the new term on November 1. Since April of this year, Ubon Ratchathani has reported 20,967 Covid-19 infections and 168 deaths. According to the Thai PBS World report, 1,000 Covid-19 patients are still undergoing hospital treatment.

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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