Omicron variant spreading rapidly, infections highest in Bangkok, North-East

PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

The Public Health Ministry says the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Thailand and has now been confirmed in 33 provinces. Dr Supakit Sirilak says that out of 740 infections, 489 have been imported and the remainder are cases of community transmission. Bangkok currently has the highest number, which Supakit attributes to increased testing at Suvarnabhumi to screen international arrivals.

“Most, if not all, local Omicron infections were connected with previous (imported) infections.”

However, in addition to Bangkok, the variant is also spreading in the north-east of the country. In Kalasin province, the number of infections has now surpassed 200 and in the northern province of Lamphun, 4 people have been confirmed as infected with the variant. Their infections have been traced back to the Kalasin cluster, sparked by a couple who recently returned from Belgium. The couple tested negative on arrival and went on to meet friends at a restaurant and bar in Kalasin, before subsequently testing positive for Omicron.

According to a Bangkok Post report, while officials are focused on the highly-contagious variant, tests are being carried out to check for other variants too and monitor the virus for any further mutations. Supakit says these tests are being carried out on international arrivals, people living in border areas, and Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms, as well as clusters with unusual symptoms.

Yesterday, the CCSA said government officials are required to work from home for 2 weeks after the New Year holiday, while calling on the private sector to do the same where possible.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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