At-risk people to be screened at home to curb contagion

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The Department of Health Service Support has announced guidelines for medics to screen people for Covid-19 in their homes in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, the department director-general, said on Wednesday (April 15) that public fear was high after more than 2,500 cases of the disease had been discovered so far in Thailand.

“This crisis has caused panic among people, and some of those who have been in contact with confirmed cases may not be able to travel from their homes to medical facilities because they are afraid that they may spread the disease,” he said.

“Also, this move [home screening] is another way to prevent and control the spread of this contagious disease, so we have to set guidelines to create a standard that all medical institutions must follow.”

He added that the department did not allow medical institutions to provide services which are not related to Covid-19 screening and examination, such as beauty treatment or vitamin injections.

The department announced that screening and examining for Covid-19 at people’s homes must proceed under the following guidelines:

1. The patient must be at high risk of infection, as specified by the Public Health Ministry.

2. The service provider must be a medical professional or medical technologist and must proceed under the professional standard.

3. All Covid-19 test kits, materials and tools used in home screening must be certified by the Food and Drug Administration.

4. The service provider must send any samples for testing to one of the 93 laboratories nationwide certified by the Department of Medical Sciences (43 laboratories in Bangkok and vicinity, and 50 laboratories in other provinces).