Health Ministry says Delta Plus variant won’t stop Thailand re-opening on schedule

PHOTO: PR Phuket

The Health Ministry says the discovery of the new Delta Plus variant in Thailand will not affect the country’s November 1 re-opening. Sathit Pitutecha, deputy public health minister, says the mutation has not been categorised as a variant of concern.

“Because viruses mutate all the time, only a mutation that causes severe illness and makes the virus spread easier or become resistant to drugs that treat the Alpha and Delta variants, is considered significant.”

He goes on to say that the discovery of the variant in Thailand was reported for the sake of transparency, as it’s important to keep potential international visitors informed. Delta Plus was reported in a male patient in the northern province of Kamphaeng Phet. According to a Bangkok Post report, the man was treated and has since recovered.

The patient had no history of being overseas and had travelled to Kamphaeng Phet from Ayutthaya before he developed symptoms. He was tested by the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences and officials are tracing the man’s close contacts to determine if any are infected.

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However, Supakit Sirilak, from the Department of Medical Sciences says the Delta Plus variant in this case is AY.1 and not AY.4.2, which is spreading in the UK and is thought to be up to 15% more infectious than the original Delta variant.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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