The Education Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan, has posted a message on Facebook instructing schools in Samut Sakhon province to transfer their classes to online platforms, starting Dec 21. In Bangkok, all New Year festivities are canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
According to Mr. Nataphol’s message on Facebook, schools in Samut Sakhon are to provide education via the distance learning television (DLTV) system. As for schools in neighboring provinces, which have students who are living in Samut Sakhon, the students are to study from home. Their teachers will monitor their learning using the same measures as previously used when schools reopened in July this year. The Education Minister expressed confidence that all schools have clear plans to address this situation.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Permanent Secretary, Silapasuay Raweesangsoon, said the BMA has ordered schools in Bang Khun Thian, Bang Bon and Nong Khaem districts to close from December 21 to January 4 next year, because they have students and education personnel living in Samut Sakhon. Additional education and online courses will be provided.
The BMA Spokesman, Pol. Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, said precautionary measures have now been put in place in all areas of Bangkok. Close monitoring is taking place in three types of businesses and activities. People can listen to music in entertainment venues, such as pubs and bars, but dancing is prohibited at this time. Boxing stadia are required to limit the number of attendees, and everyone must practice social distancing and wear protective masks at all times. Following the COVID-19 outbreak in a market in Samut Sakhon, Bangkok officials are inspecting 472 markets where there are migrant workers. They must wear face masks at all times and undergo temperature scans before entering and leaving the premises. Violations will result in immediate closure.
The BMA has also canceled all New Year celebrations events and New Year’s Eve prayers. Private agencies which have to organize such events must provide disease-control plans to the BMA for consideration first. Alms-giving ceremonies on the morning of January 1, 2021, will still take place. However, the number of participants will be limited, and screening measures will be more stringent. Public parks will remain open to the public, but visitors should not gather in groups.
The Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Pol. Lt. Gen. Sopon Pisuttiwong, said the BMA will initially set up a checkpoint to control the travel of migrant workers in four areas of Bangkok. They include Rama II road, Petchkasem road, Borommaratchachonnani road and Bang Khun Thian. The checkpoints will work around the clock to screen vehicles transporting migrant workers, until the situation improves. (NNT)