Health Ministry: test for Omicron variant before the holidays

PHOTO: Everyone should test for the Omicron variant before the holidays. (via PR Phuket)

Headache? Coughing? Fatigue? Better get tested! The Ministry of Public Health is encouraging the people of Thailand to get tested for Covid-19 before the upcoming holiday period to try to detect, contain, and prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. The ministry asked everyone to check themselves and to be aware of the many symptoms that could possibly be attributed to Covid-19.

Anyone who experiences any of the following symptoms is encouraged to take an antigen test kit for Covid-19 or seek medical attention, especially people who are at risk like the elderly or those who suffer from chronic illnesses. Even if fully vaccinated, people who travel from high-risk areas are also encouraged to take an antigen test and seek medical treatment if any of the following symptoms persist:

  • Headache
  • Frequent or persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

The warnings come as the Ministry of Public Health, along with most government agencies, frantically scramble to try to limit the amount and spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Thailand. The country recently detected its first local transmission of the more contagious variant which has already become a dominant force in the US, while Thailand has over 60 cases within its borders.

Health officials are encouraging people to get their booster shot vaccines as multiple studies show the body’s immune response is greatly aided by the third shot against the omicron variant. The World Health Organization says that vaccines may not be as powerful against Omicron, but T-cell and B-cell performances remain intact.

With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which has conclusively shown to be far more transmissible than the Delta variant while no strong data yet shows that it creates more serious illness or death, mutations are already being identified.

The Department of Medical Sciences reported that the Omicron variant is now in 89 countries with 6,000 patients infected with the first known sub-variant and two other sub-variants seeing 18 people with one and 5 people infected with another as well.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill Fronde

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.