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Over 98% of new Covid-19 cases in Thailand are Delta variant

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Covid-19 testing in Phuket (October 2021) | Photo courtesy of PR Phuket

Expert predictions about the Delta variant of Covid-19 becoming the dominant strain in Thailand by August came true several months ago, but testing shows that the Delta variant is now responsible for 98.6% of all new infections in Thailand. This data from the Department of Medical Science comes as the Delta Plus strain has been found in Thailand and may be up to 15% more transmissible.

Testing in the week of October 16 to 22 found that nearly 99% of infections were of the Delta variant. Just 0.8% of new infections were the Beta variant, and 0.6% were the Alpha variant. In the Deep South, where the provinces have been experiencing a surge of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, tests revealed that 96.9% of new infections are the Delta variant, with the Beta variant making up 2.3% and the Alpha variant 0.8%.

The new Delta Plus variant causing concern is one of 47 Delta Plus subvariants identified so far worldwide. 19 of them have been uncovered within Thailand so far although researchers say none of them have shown any signs that they are more resistant to vaccines or faster spreading than the main Delta variant. The substrain that has been found to spread 15% faster is Delta Plus AY 4.2, a strain that the British government is monitoring but has not yet been found in Thailand.

Domestically, Kamphaeng Phet Providence has been uncovering Delta Plus variants for one month now, all of which have been the AY 1 subvariant, which has not been shown to be more transmissible or vaccine-resistant, with no cases of the AY 4.2 variant found.

Thailand has also seen 18 people infected with a subvariant of the Alpha strain known as E484K, identified late last month on September 27. Two of the infected patients were in Chiang Mai prison, 4 were Thai people in Chanthaburi and Trat, and the remaining 12 were Cambodian migrant workers. All 18 patients have been released from medical care after being cured of the strain of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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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.

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