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Schools can now reopen after checks

More than 35,100 schools can now resume onsite learning after passing a Covid-19 preparedness assessment, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the DoH, said a total of 37,149 schools joined the “Thai Stop Covid Plus” assessment ahead of the Nov 1 school reopening and 94.5% of them, or 35,114, passed the screening.

The assessment is designed to help schools and businesses evaluate their Covid-19 control measures, including physical distancing, ventilation in buildings and rubbish disposal methods, among others.

Dr Suwanchai said the schools that didn’t pass the assessment are making improvements and they will be evaluated again by provincial communicable disease control panels before being allowed to resume onsite learning.

He said all schools must maintain a healthy environment and regularly report their status to the Education Ministry via the “MOE COVID” system.

“The public can be assured that schools have comprehensive Covid-19 control measures and will get evaluated regularly,” Dr Suwanchai said. “They have a Covid-19 response plan to deal with cases.”

He said closing an entire school is not recommended if new infections are discovered but it can be an option if large clusters are found.

The DoH chief also called on diners to consume alcohol in moderation, adding business operators must adhere to regulations now that restaurants and eateries can serve alcohol.

Strict compliance with Covid-19 control measures will help reduce transmission risks, he said.

Concerns are being raised over a possible spike in cases after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on alcohol sales at restaurants in four “blue zone” provinces — Bangkok, Krabi, Phangnga and Phuket

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