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Disease-Control Panel OKs Steps Needed for Thailand to Fully Reopen

UN Women Ploy Phutpheng
Photo: Ploy Phutpheng / UN Women

The National Communicable Disease Committee has approved four points to help stem the spread of Covid-19 and drive the country forward by implementing a strategy to vaccinate all risk groups.

The committee on Monday approved the use of the “bubble and seal” method in factories as well as guidelines for vehicles entering the kingdom.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul chaired the meeting online. The meeting was attended by executives of the ministries of Public Health, Interior, Labor and Foreign Affairs; the Royal Thai Police and private hospitals, as well as qualified members in the medical and public-health sectors and representatives of various professions and independent organization.

The meeting resolved that to reopen the country under new disease-control measures, the number of critically ill patients must not exceed the capacity of the public-health system.

Relevant agencies will implement a strategy to vaccinate the elderly and people who are at risk of developing serious complications. Comprehensive vaccine development will proceed.

Anti-Covid-19 socal distancing measures and the “universal prevention” guidelines will help people coexist with Covid-19.

Comprehensive Covid-19 Response Teams will work more proactively in greater Bangkok and areas where the outbreak is reported. The meeting agreed that people must have access to Covid-19 testing, using antigen test kits.

The meeting agreed that the “bubble and seal” method can be taken in factories and other business venues. If a cluster of Covid-19 cases is more than 10 percent, those who tested positive are to be treated in field hospitals, while others can continue working while being closely observed.

As a result, factories won’t have to be closed, workers will still be compensated, and the economy will not be disrupted.

The meeting also approved a ministerial regulation on the date, time and premises of vehicles arriving at international disease-control checkpoints and another ministerial regulation on guidelines for vehicles entering Thailand via land, water and air.

In addition, representatives of provincial health assemblies are encouraged to attend their respective provincial Communicable Disease Committee meetings, so that the local people are more informed and can carry out disease-control measures in their areas more effectively.

The meeting also acknowledged a resolution of the academic committee under the Communicable Disease Act, B.E. 2558 (2015), to allow travelers who have been administered with the Sputnik V vaccine to take part in the Phuket Sandbox tourism scheme.