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Medic says 10% of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are Delta variant



PHOTO: Flickr/UN Women Asia and the Pacific

The head of the Department of Medical Sciences says 10% of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are the Delta variant, formerly known as the Indian variant. According to a Bangkok Post report, 496 cases of the variant have been detected in the Kingdom between April 7 and June 13. DMS chief Dr Supakit Sirilak says 404 of those are in Bangkok, citing the highly-contagious nature of the variant as a cause for concern.

“The Delta strain is 40% more infectious than the Alpha and requires close monitoring week by week.”

Outside of Bangkok, the variant has been reported in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, where 28 cases were confirmed, and Nakhon Nayok where 8 cases were reported. The Delta variant has also been found in the north-east of the country, with 2 infections each in Sakon Nakhon and Ubon Ratchathani, and 1 each in Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Loei, and Buriram. In the north of the country, 2 cases have been confirmed in Phayao and 1 each in Chiang Rai and Phetchabun. In the east, both Chon Buri and Chanthaburi have reported 1 case of the variant.

Supakit warns that if the Delta variant is allowed to take hold in the country, it could make up half of all infections within 2 or 3 months, pointing out that cases of the variant in other provinces can be traced back to a construction camp in the Laksi district of Bangkok.

For now, the Alpha variant (formerly known as the UK variant) remains the dominant strain in the Kingdom, with cases of the Beta (South African) variant confined to the Tak Bai district of the southern province of Narathiwat and a state quarantine facility in the central province of Samut Prakan.

Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Department of Science, and involving 200 volunteers who received 2 doses of the Sinovac vaccine, shows that it offers 100% protection against the original strain, but that drops to 50 – 60% against the Alpha variant. A study into the efficacy of 1 dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against both the Alpha and Delta variants is currently underway.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand | Thai PBS World


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