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Schools Linked to Foreigners Violating Covid-19 Travel Bubble Closed



Travel Bubble .Schools, Thailand, Covid-19

Two schools in Bangkok have been closed as of Wednesday as a result of resent Covid-19 coronavirus cases from the flawed travel bubble.  Bangkok’s Samsenwittayalai and Sainampeung Schools, were shuttered due to Covid-19 concerns related to the foreign travel bubble.

Samsenwittayalai School announced its closure on its Facebook page on Tuesday. The decision came after its board learned that a student and his family stayed at a hotel in Rayong. The same hotel where a visiting Egyptian soldier who later tested positive for Covid-19 was staying.

On July 8, an Egyptian military delegation arrived at U-Tapao airport in Rayong. They stayed for a few days at the Rayong hotel before returning back home.

Twenty seven of the 31 delegates broke self-quarantine rules implemented in the new foreign travel bubble scheme.  The Egyptian delegates visited a shopping mall in the area before they left Thailand on Saturday.

One of the soldiers was later found to be infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. In response, the Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) petitioned the Egyptian embassy. Blaming the embassy for arranging hotel accommodation for members of the delegation instead of putting them in a state-approved quarantine hotel.

Scrapping Covid-19 social distancing in schools

According to the Bangkok Post, Thai Airways, ground crew members have been placed under a 14-day quarantine period. They will be tested for Covid-19, after coming into contact with the Egyptian military delegation.

Similarly, Sainampeung School announced on Facebook that it will be closed from today until Friday. Because the daughter of a Sudanese diplomat living in a condo in Bangkok was found to be infected with Covid-19.

The school said the closure is in accordance with Education Ministry regulations. Students will learn through the internet at home, while staff members with urgent tasks will be on duty.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) plans to ask the CCSA to consider scrapping social distancing policies in schools. Furthermore because no school has recorded any Covid-19 infections.

Amnat Wichayanuwat, secretary-general of Obec, said schools under its jurisdiction, except the one in Rayong, have not had problems since the new term began July.

Mr Amnat said the agency will assess the situation again after one month. His agency will also propose a plan to the CCSA to increase the number of students in uninfected schools.

Travel Bubble Suspended

Thailand has temporarily suspended the travel bubble allowing the entry of foreign diplomats and special business representatives. After the young daughter of the Sudanese attache was found to be infected with Covid-19 after the family arrived from Sudan.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said it would remain in force while they plugged loopholes in Covid-19 disease control measures.

He also said that the suspension of the Travel Bubble comes after Egyptian delegates violated the bubble rules. Twenty seven of the 31 delegates broke self-quarantine rules.


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