Omicron is slowly creeping into Thailand. Officials have announced that there have now been 9 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 diagnosed within the borders of Thailand. Those nine cases have been fully genome sequenced and confirmed that they are definitely the new and highly infections variant. Omicron is believed to be more contagious but less severe than other strains, but the first Omicron death was just recorded in the UK.
Aside from the confirmed cases, medical officials are currently researching 5 more potential cases. Dr Supakit Sirilak, the Director-General of the Medical Sciences Department, says those 5 possible Omicron variant infections are currently undergoing whole genome sequencing tests that will confirm that the Covid-19 cases are without a doubt the new variant.
So far, all confirmed cases, as well as potential cases, have been found in international travellers as they arrive in Thailand and are said to have been reasonably contained so it is hoped that Thailand is still insulated from the Omicron variant. But officials including Dr Supakit believe that it’s only a matter of time before the virus escapes the confines of incoming foreign tourists and is found in the wild of Thailand with domestic transmission.
Officials stress though that the people of Thailand should avoid panic and remain calm in the face of a new wave of Covid-19 infections due to the Omicron variant. Dr Supakit says that any outbreak of the new variant will be quickly contained. Other officials have warned people to remain vigilant though and predicted that Thailand could see an outbreak of Omicron infections after New Year’s celebrations.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World