Public Health Ministry monitoring Omicron variant, public urged not to panic

PHOTO: PR Phuket

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry says the public shouldn’t panic over the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit says the ministry is monitoring the situation and on alert for possible Omicron cases. Meanwhile, people should continue to observe existing disease prevention measures.

“The departments of Medical Sciences and Disease Control have been tasked with monitoring the new variant closely and communicating with the public regularly to ease their concerns. Meanwhile, all provincial public health offices must follow the VUCA measures – vaccination, universal prevention, Covid-free setting, and use of antigen test kits. These measures should especially target priority groups, namely seniors above the age of 60, pregnant women, and those with health problems.”

According to a Nation Thailand report, Kiattiphum says vaccinated people should continue adhering to Covid-19 prevention measures, but adds that so far, there are no Omicron cases in the kingdom.

“Members of the public who have been vaccinated should focus on maintaining universal prevention and Covid-free settings in their daily lives to make their families and communities safe. The ministry has increased screening measures for people coming from countries with high risk. People should not panic about the new variant, but should stay alert and follow updates from the ministry and related government agencies.”

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The Omicron variant of Covid-19 was first reported in South Africa on November 24, after being found in a sample taken on November 9. Little is known about the variant at this stage, but the World Health Organisation has categorised it as a “variant of concern”. The emergence of the new variant has led Thailand and several other countries to restrict or ban travel from South Africa and a number of other African countries where Omicron has been reported.

However, the government says the variant will not affect Thailand’s re-opening and there are currently no plans to shut the borders again. According to the Public Health Ministry, 116,323 international travellers arrived in Thailand between November 1 and 27, with only 149 of them testing positive for Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that most foreign arrivals are from the US, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, South Korea, France, the UAE, and Singapore.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

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