Survivors ‘steadily recovering’

Students of Chulalongkorn University Demonstration Secondary School take part in a safety drill on Thursday in the wake of the massacre at a daycare centre in tambon Uthai Sawan of Nong Bua Lam Phu’s Na Klang district on Oct 6. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Residents of tambon Uthai Sawan in Nong Bua Lam Phu’s Na Klang district are making steady progress in their recovery following the Oct 6 mass shooting which claimed 37 lives, the Ministry of Public Health said on Thursday.

As of Thursday, six victims of the shooting — three adults and three children — remain in hospital, all of whom are now recuperating from their physical injuries and psychological trauma, said the permanent secretary of public health, Opas Karnkawinpong.

“The children have fully regained consciousness. One of them can even walk on his own again,” Dr Opas said, noting the other two are currently undergoing physical rehabilitation to regain muscle strength and physical mobility.

Two of the adult victims have been taken off ventilators, though the third victim still requires breathing assistance due to severe neck injuries, he said.

Meanwhile, about 98% of the 345 people who either witnessed the Oct 6 mass shooting and/or lost a relative in the incident have received psychological counselling, said director-general of the Department of Mental Health, Amporn Benjapornpitak.

Dr Amporn the department is actively monitoring them for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and pledged to continue providing mental health support for victims and their relatives.

The department is still trying to reach out to over 5,600 people who may have been psychologically affected by the shooting. As of Thursday, the department’s health volunteers have managed to reach out to about 400 of them, she said.

And as the new school term is due to begin next month, the mental health teams deployed in these affected communities now hope to assist the residents cope with the aftermath of the shooting while preparing to get their children back to school, the department director-general said.

“A smile on their children’s faces will help ease the victims’ worries, which could help them relax once again,” Dr Amporn said.

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