Coronavirus: Thai nursery pupils forced to play alone in individual screened-off areas

Headteacher says they asked nearly 5,000 pupils to self-isolate for 15 days before term

Two Thai pupils play behind plastic screens in separate play areas at the Wat Khlong Toey School on August 10, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Two Thai pupils play behind plastic screens in separate play areas at the Wat Khlong Toey School on August 10, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. ( Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images )

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Students at a nursery in Thailand can be seen playing separately in small screened-off play areas in a series of remarkable new photos.

The images, which were taken on Monday, show the level of health precautions taken by the Wat Khlong Toey School in Bangkok, which welcomed its 250 students back to the classroom in July.

The kindergarten had been closed since mid-March after authorities in Thailand issued a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

As well as setting up enclosed play areas, the school has set up plastic screens around the students’ desks and has marked out socially-distanced boxes on the floor for pupils to stand in.

There are also now temperature scanners in the nursery’s entrance, with soap dispensers located outside each classroom.

Some other schools in Thailand have also taken stringent measures in a bid to lower the risk of pupils and staff catching coronavirus.

Sam Khok school, which is located around 30 miles north of the Thai capital, asked its almost 5,000 students to self-isolate at home for 15 days returning for the new term, according to its headteacher.

Pupils stand in socially distanced boxes that are marked out in a classroom at Wat Khlong Toey School in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 10, 2020. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images )

“Once students arrive at school, teachers hand face masks to them because it’s mandatory to wear them,” said Chuchart Thiengtham.

The head teacher also added face shield were used by pupils for some activities.

The pictures from Wat Khlong Toey School in Bangkok came on the same day that the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that schools had to be safe before they could reopen.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We all want to see schools safely reopened but we also need to ensure that students, staff and faculty are safe. The foundation for this is adequate control of transmission at the community.”

“My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus,” he added.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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