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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Brazilian Covid-19 varient found in Thailand in arrival quarantine

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: A Brazilian variant of Covid-19 has reached Thailand. (via Pixabay/Pxhere)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced today that the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 has been detected in some arriving international travellers. A spokesperson was quick to confirm that the strain had been detected only in state quarantine, and not at all in local communities and that the infection had been immediately contained. The patients have been said to have been properly treated already, but the announcement did not verify if it was the highly contagious P.1. variant of Covid-19.

The dangerous P.1. variant was first found in the Amazonian capital of Manaus and is suspected to have originated around November of 2020. Researchers found it to be 1.7 to 2.4 times more transmissible and 1.2 to 1.9 times more deadly than previous coronavirus strains, though extenuating factors may have influenced the statistics.

The Brazilian strain is troublesome because it’s possible that it could reinfect people who had previous strains of Covid-19 or even those that have been vaccinated already. Researchers were unsure if the variant was more powerful because of an increased viral load or because it remains in the body longer. They identified 17 mutations including three spike protein mutations that seem to let the virus attach more closely to human cells and possibly avoid antibody. There was evidence that immune responses to prior strains would be ineffective against the P.1. variant.

The CCSA reassured the people of Thailand that there is no indication that this dangerous strain has spread beyond the quarantine into Thailand at all, where current outbreaks have 343 people on ventilators and 1,042 people in critical condition out of over 30,000 people currently hospitalized with Covid-19.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Time to start thinking about buying a BSL-3, or even better a BSL-4 positive pressure bio-safety suite. After all that’s what whoever developed this stuff was wearing when they worked on it.

    The lab would have had air locks with disinfection/ decontamination chambers for entry/ exit.
    They wouldn’t have been allowed to just walk out the door and into a public space…

  2. Avatar

    J West

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Was the ” International traveler ” Thai? They could only be Thai as the report also specifies that they were being treated in a state facility…which are for Thai only. Why not just say ‘ the traveler with the disease variant entering Thai land is Thai”. Do Thai not want to hear that it is predominately returning Thai who are returning with deadly Covid ? It is only Thai who spread the disease within families in Klong Toei and Thonglor, only Thai who were screwing the casino girls in Myanmar, Why intimate that it might be “farang”..?

    • Neill Fronde

      Neill Fronde

      Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      We were unable to find any source that identified the nationality of infected travellers.

  3. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    How many with it have already got in, with a 14 day incubation period but only a 10 day quarantine?

    More contagious and more deadly?

    That sounds familiar …

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 3:27 am

    I guess that means there is no point in getting the vaccine as new variants will not be prevented by vaccination. So forget the vaccines and just open things up.

  5. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:08 am

    J West has pointed out something many have been raising their eyebrows about.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Thai government has rarely identified the incoming disease carriers as Thai, when almost all of them have to be – just considering the requirements that farang have to meet – in order to enter the country.

    And nearly all of the incoming infections have been in state quarantine, not ASQ, which also means they are being brought in by Thais.

    I know it’s their country, but to continually spout that it’s the “dirty farang” that are the problem and that “problem farang” won’t wear masks…is merely xenophobic, racist propaganda.

    When is the last time any of you heard a Thai take responsibility for something they were actually guilty of? It’s cultural…Thais are not culpable, in their own eyes.

  6. Avatar


    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:51 am

    They’re developing and testing booster shots for variants now. The government should open up their wallet and put in their orders for a variety of boosters now instead of being 3+ months behind the west like in the first vaccination go round. If they rely on locally produced AZ and Sinovac they’ll potentially be the goat again.

    James, you must not be in Thailand now. The place is essentially shut down. Not worth coming to until 70% in Thailand gets the vaccine. Think America and the UK last year. That’s why the “open up” comments are moot unless you just want to sit in your hotel room and eat take out.

  7. Avatar


    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I’d lay odds that they’re going to abandon letting anyone in that isn’t Thai or legally married to one very soon. Back to square 1, it seems.

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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.

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