Three educational institutions in several provinces were ordered closed after reportedly being found with suspected Covid-19 cluster infections among students, teachers, and school officials.
In Lampang province, Thoen Technology Vocational College in Thoen district was closed for one month after 10 students were reportedly positive for the virus.
According to proactive health screening results, one out of 83 vocational students was confirmed infected via the RT-PCR test on October 29th. The initial disease investigation revealed that the student was living at the college’s dormitory with another 13 students who were considered in a high-risk group.
All of them were isolated in a local quarantine between October 30th and November 3rd. The RT-PCR test proved that an additional 9 cases were found, marking a total of 10 infections so far.
More teachers and officials are now being involved in proactive health screening. Meanwhile, the college was ordered closed from October 29th to November 28th for a Bubble and Seal strategy, which effectively requires all students and staff to stay on the campus during this time, and a major cleaning.
Meanwhile, in Prachinburi, Ban Bu Phram Arun Anusorn School in the Nadi district was closed after two days since the November 1st reopening as one of the school teachers was reportedly considered in a high-risk group of possible Covid-19 infections.
School director Wirun Nakhampha told reporters that the closure was to prevent students and school staff from possible infections. The school will be reopened again after the high-risk teacher was officially proven with negative results. TPN media notes that the entire school was closed just because a teacher was suspected of allegedly attending a party, without an actual positive test.
In Mukdahan, thousands of school teachers and students were isolated at Kham Soi Phitthaya Sarn School yesterday, November 4th, after about 40-70 possible Covid-19 infections were unofficially found among students and school staff via the ATK method.
All of them were taken to local field hospitals for the official RT-PCR tests while the remaining students who were considered at risk were being isolated at the school and are not allowed to leave the place until the test results are revealed, following Nikhom Kham Soi district chief.
As of this morning, a Mukdahan PR official announced online that no additional infections were found among the quarantined students and staff of the school. All of them are allowed to leave the area.
The Public Health Ministry also revealed that the preliminary examination with the ATK test was positive but when all the students and staff were re-examined with RT-PCR at the field hospitals, they were all negative. TPN notes this means, in plain terms, that every “positive” ATK test at the school was incorrect, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Dr. Chakrarat Pittayawonganon from the Department of Disease Control told the Thai press this morning, November 5th: “A false ATK result can happen. All the ATK positive results must be re-examined with the RT-PCR test again.”
“The school must have preventive measures and proper communication with parents, not to cause such panic and anxiety among the public. If there are any infections, the school doesn’t have to be totally closed. Some classes can still be carried out as usual. This incident is a learning experience for everyone involved that we should not panic if a test is positive via ATK and close entire schools or force large sectors of people into isolation until a verified positive RT-PCR test is confirmed.” Dr. Chakrarat concluded.
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