Government staff has been instructed to work from home next week, with the possibility of online classes also being brought back, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
According to Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, the Ministry of Public Health submitted to the Cabinet epidemiological scenarios on the Omicron situation. He stressed that although patients infected with the new variant can be asymptomatic or exhibit mild symptoms, efforts must be made to contain the spread and prevent spikes in new cases.
Minister Sathit said such steps were necessary to better facilitate the Kingdom’s reopening and avoid major disruptions.
He added that the ministry will reassess the situation on January 4, the first working day after the New Year holiday period.
Private businesses are also urged to encourage employees to work from home.
The minister nevertheless acknowledged that the spread of Omicron infections will be difficult to avoid during New Year countdown events. However, he said measures could be eased further if everyone cooperates to avoid a surge in new cases.
He also expressed concern for children below the age of 12 who have not been vaccinated and were therefore at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
The ministry has therefore told hospitals under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to prepare for new child cases and for private hospitals to look after those with severe symptoms.