Thai virus expert says careful consideration needed before reopening schools


Thailand’s chief virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan, from the Faculty of Medicine at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, says reopening the country’s schools should not be a political decision. Instead, he says it should be based on science, with consideration given to the risks involved, and adequate safety measures put in place.

Thai PBS World reports that Dr Yong says that while most children infected with the Covid-19 virus may only show mild symptoms, they are still capable of passing the infection to older family members. He says it’s crucial to strike the right balance between getting children back into education and protecting their health and that of their families.

His comments come as the Ministry of Education confirms the nation’s schools will reopen from July 1. The new semester would normally begin mid-May but was delayed as a result of the Covid-19 threat. There have been calls for schools to reopen from opposition parties and anti-government figures, insisting children are less likely to be infected and that their education is suffering as long as schools remain closed.

Dr Yong says medical experts, virologists and child psychiatrists should all be consulted when deciding whether or not to reopen schools. He says if schools are to reopen, a reduction in classroom numbers is essential in order to facilitate social distancing.

“Children must be encouraged to wash their hands frequently and to wear face masks, hand sanitiser must be provided and all pupils must have their temperatures checked.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Covid-19 NewsThailand News

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Maya Taylor

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