Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Authorities in Thailand vexed at “Thai variant” name

Neill Fronde

Published 

 on 

FILE PHOTO: Thailand officials angry over Covid-19 "Thai variant"

Since Donald Trump first popularised Covid-19 terminology by acerbically referring it to the “China virus”, the geographic naming of Covid-19 strains is a hot button issue, and now it’s Thailand’s turn. A recently discovered variant of Covid-19 has been given the moniker of the “Thai variant” which has drawn immediate condemnation from Thailand’s authorities.

The variant was identified by health officials in England and officially named C.36.3. A Department of Health and Social Care agency called Public Health England found 109 infections from this new strain. But it was the UK media that named it the Thai variant, which authorities in Thailand quickly pushed back on.

The report confirmed that while the strain was first identified in Thailand, it was actually found in a quarantined traveller coming from Egypt. An advisor from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration was quick to point out that the C.36.3 strain has not been found domestically in Thailand at all with no local transmission.

Thai officials took offence that the UK authorities did not contact equivalent authorities in Thailand for an investigation of the details of this new strain before releasing a report to the public. They insist that multiple laboratories need to confirm the variant, and a sample should have been sent to Thai labs. Thailand’s director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences expressed his opposition to the “Thai variant” name and is examining the PHE report.

The strain was found in a 33 year old man from Egypt who travelled to Thailand and was discovered to be infected while in the mandatory 14-day quarantine. A sample was sent to Chulalongkorn University and was originally identified as the B.1.1.1 variant on January 31, but later a new recording system was implemented and it was changed to C.36.3.

The Department of Medical Sciences argues that if an Egyptian man brought it from Egypt and it was identified in quarantine before entering the Thai general population, it really should be called the Egypt variant, not the Thai variant. For reference, the DMS points out that on January 2 Japanese scientists found a variant in a person who arrived from Brazil, and that strain became known as the Brazilian variant, not the Japanese variant.

Some happier details from the report though – the new virus variant does not seem to pose any greater threat than normal Covid-19. The strain does not appear to cause any more severe illness or have a higher rate of death, nor does it look to be any more powerful against vaccines, with the report confirming that current Covid-19 vaccines do not appear to be any less effective against this strain. Lab tests on the C.36.3 “Thai” variant are ongoing with more detail to be forthcoming.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Protests11 mins ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Crime31 mins ago

Police arrest suspect who allegedly killed Covid patient and 7-Eleven clerk

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Pattaya1 hour ago

Chon Buri governor says Pattaya bars will stay closed for now, Covid cases remain high

Crime2 hours ago

15 year old stabbed at private school

Thailand2 hours ago

UPDATE: Police identify alleged gunman who opened fire at field hospital, killing a patient

Thailand3 hours ago

PM orders investigation into pricey street lamps

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Thai Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket governor outlines plans to track and trace foreign arrivals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Latest wave exceeds 200,000 cases

Thailand4 hours ago

Guitarist from “Playground” dies in road incident

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

First delivery of Sinopharm vaccines approved for distribution

Thailand4 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Thai Immigration – Are you legal? Latest Covid and Phuket sandbox

Phuket4 hours ago

Flight traffic to Phuket expected to increase by 6% next month

Tourism5 hours ago

Hotel platform predicts increasing demand for holidays in Thailand

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending