Measures adopted to prepare Thailand for safe reopening to foreign arrivals
Thailand’s National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) has approved a set of measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in preparation for the safe reopening of Thailand to foreign arrivals, said Disease Control Department Director-General Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong said today (Monday).
One of the measures calls for the adoption of a new disease control guideline, “Smart Control and Living with COVID-19”, with the aim of vaccinating as many vulnerable people as possible, such as the elderly and those suffering from underlying diseases, and to enable people to get access to free COVID-19 screening, he said.
This approach also covers universal prevention, through active visits by rapid response mobile teams to individual residences in communities in Bangkok and its peripherals, especially in high-risk areas.
Dr. Opart also said that “bubble and seal” measures will be imposed on workplaces where clusters of infections are detected. Under this measure, the active screening will be conducted and, if it is discovered that 10% or more of the workforce in a workplace test positive, they will be isolated in a field hospital, while the rest of the workers can continue to work, but will have to be isolated at their place of work for 28 days, after which they can return to their families.
Dr. Opart said that, through this arrangement, a factory need not be closed down and workers who are not infected will still get paid, adding that, in the big picture, the Thai economy will not be impeded further.
The NCDC also endorsed ministerial regulations pertaining to vehicles passing through international disease control checkpoints by land, sea, and air.
Members of the public, through their representatives, will be allowed to participate in meetings of the provincial communicable disease committees in each province and have a role in decision making.
Dr. Opart said that starting next month, the CCSA will assess the lockdown measures, especially in the 29 COVID-19 “dark red” provinces, to determine whether the restrictions need to be extended or can be eased, partially or completely.