Thailand’s top virology expert has said children with COVID-19 should not be absent from school for too long given expanding vaccination coverage and the nature of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which is far less virulent than previous strains.
Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Center for Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, recently suggested a shorter self-isolation time for COVID patients, especially children.
He said in his Facebook post that the majority of people now have some level of immunity against COVID-19, either from vaccinations, infection or a hybrid immunity from both the vaccine and contracting the virus.
Dr Yong also said patients should self-isolate for seven days and avoid transmitting the virus to others by wearing a mask and frequently washing their hands.
Concerning children who exhibit mild symptoms, Dr Yong said they should stay home to recover and be allowed to return to school two days after symptoms subside.
He added that children over the age of 2 usually develop a robust immune response against the virus. There are currently no approved COVID-19 vaccines for kids under the age of 5 in Thailand.
Dr Yong meanwhile suggested that children who test positive opt to join online classes for a period of seven days, especially those with mild symptoms.