BA.4 & BA.5 in Bangkok “will spread to the provinces” – Department of Medical Sciences

Thailand’s Department of Medical Sciences has issued a report about the spread of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, saying that most of the detected cases have so far been in Bangkok but are expected to spread out the other 76 provinces.

The director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, Dr Supakit Sirilak, says that the two sub-variants – BA.4 and BA.5 – have been confirmed in 75% of the infected arrivals. In Bangkok testing, 72% of cases were the two latest sub-variants, in the provinces it was only 34.7% of cases at the moment.

Speaking about the possibilities of the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants causing more severe illness, Dr Supakit noted that 72% of cases, of those had been properly examined, had mild symptoms. But in patients currently suffering serious lung inflammation, using ventilators, people in critical condition, or those who died, the two sub-variants were confirmed with 77% of the patients.

In recent reports from the WHO, who have admitted that the BA.4 and BA.5 are already sub-variants of concern, the issues of immune escape (so that natural or vaccine-assisted immunity was ineffective), and increased transmissibility were reasons for health authorities to

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In the US, the sub-variant BA.5 is now accounting for nearly 54% of the country’s Covid cases as of last Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A similar subvariant, BA.4, makes up 17% more. David Montefiori, a professor at the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University Medical Center, says that the two subvariants “also appear to evade protection from vaccines and previous infections more easily than most of their predecessors”.

Health authorities, in many countries currently watching the rising new infection numbers, are warning that new variants can reinfect even those with some form of antibody immunity “in a matter of weeks”.

Western Australia’s chief health officer Andrew Robertson said…

“They (new variants) seem to be able to evade the protection from either having had a previous infection with BA2 or having had a vaccine.

The latest UK Government figures show that coronavirus cases in England had risen by 26.5% in the past 7 days to 139,272 infections, prompting the UK Health Security Agency to remind people to ensure they have had any vaccines that they are eligible for and to follow Covid-safe practices such as regular hand washing.

Back in Bangkok, Dr Supakit said…

“It had not been concluded that BA.4 and BA.5 caused severe symptoms.”

The Department of Medical Sciences and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are now conducting more specific examinations of affected patients so that there would be enough data to conclude.

Meanwhile, in Cyprus, the island is reintroducing mandatory face mask rules as a new wave of Covid sweeps the country. The rules will come into effect tomorrow across the whole island as the Cypriot government attempts to tackle rising infection numbers. It comes after rules were relaxed over a month ago, however, the country recorded 10,879 new Covid cases in the week ending July 1.

Bangkok NewsCovid-19 News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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