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Quarantine may be increased to 21 days for returnees arriving from Africa



PHOTO: Qui Hotel

The Thai government may increase mandatory quarantine to 21 days for those returning from Africa, as efforts continue to stop the spread of the South African variant of the virus. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says the B1351 variant, which first surfaced in South Africa late last year, is faster spreading and could lead to an increase in the number of cases in Thailand. It now accounts for over 90% of South African cases that have undergone genetic sequencing and has been detected in around 30 other countries.

CCSA spokesperson, Apisamai Srirangson, says officials are considering an increase to the quarantine period after a Thai man returned from Tanzania and tested positive for the virus on February 5, while in state quarantine. However, according to a Bangkok Post report, it was not until February 12 that health officials confirmed the patient was carrying the more contagious South African variant.

Prasit Watanapa from the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital is calling on hospitals to double-check testing swabs to determine if the variant is more prevalent in the Kingdom than previously thought. Meanwhile, he says the anti-viral treatment, favipirapir, can be used against the variant, despite there being no evidence yet of its efficacy. The medication has been used to treat flu in Japan and since the pandemic began, has also been used to treat Covid-19 patients in some parts of the world.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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