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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government urges people to work from home where possible



PHOTO: WJ van den Eijkhof / Flickr

The government is calling on all employers whose staff can work from home to implement such measures immediately, as new Covid-19 infections hit another record high. Yesterday, the Kingdom reported 1,767 new infections and 2 additional deaths, taking the death toll to 101. There are 28 patients on ventilators. According to a Bangkok Post report, Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says recent data shows growing clusters of infection at work places.

One such cluster has been reported at a school in the central province of Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok. 32 people have tested positive after 2 foreign teachers returned from a trip to Phuket between April 2 and 4, where they frequented a number of nightlife venues. After they returned to Bangkok, they resumed work at the school. supervising exams between April 5 and 8. On April 8, they attended a party in the evening and tested positive for the virus the next day. 23 students have also tested positive, along with 4 of their relatives.

Other clusters include 23 infections at a private firm in Chon Buri and 8 at an electricity authority office in the north-eastern province of Udon Thani. Taweesilp says the rise in infections in work environments indicates the need for people to work from home where possible.

“This is the reason the CCSA is asking for your cooperation to step up work-from-home measures. Companies which have reported cluster infections, if you can allow your employees to work from home, please do so.”

He adds that the Health Ministry is addressing the long waitlist for hospital beds in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The head of the Department of Medical Services, Somsak Akksilp, is acting as coordinator between hospitals and those running field hospitals, such as the Thai army. Covid-19 patients still waiting to be admitted to hospital are urged to comply with disease prevention measures and self-isolate with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control echoes the call for home working measures to be implemented wherever possible following the long Songkran holiday. Tens of thousands of people travelled across the country over the course of the holiday, but Opas says if home working can be implemented and the public cooperates with disease prevention measures, new infections should drop over the next 2 weeks.

“We’re concerned about community transmission in schools and workplaces. The work-from-home policy is important as we expect people to return to work on Monday. Please avoid gatherings, sharing of items and eating together.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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