Thai PM says another national lockdown “unlikely” despite Omicron variant

PHOTO: Flickr/Paul Pachara

The Thai PM says another lockdown is not on the cards, despite the first case of the Omicron variant being reported in the kingdom. According to a Bangkok Post report, Prayut Chan-o-cha was responding to fears from business owners that another lockdown could be imposed during peak season

“Hopefully, this coming New Year will be a happy time. We haven’t had that festive happiness for 2 years because of Covid-19. After all, everything now depends on how effective the Covid Free Setting and other measures are. If there is no new spread of the virus, who would ever close or lock down again? No one would.”

The PM says he’s confident that existing health screening measures can prevent the new and highly transmissible variant from being imported and spreading in Thailand.

“As of now, the requirement that international visitors undergo a PCR Covid-19 test upon arriving in the kingdom is seen by health authorities as sufficient to detect the new variant and prevent it from spreading here.”

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According to the Bangkok Post, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has reiterated the importance of vaccination in order to boost immunity against the variant. He is urging people who received a second dose in August to come forward for a booster dose. The PM adds that there are early signs the new variant is no more severe than earlier mutations.

“The World Health Organisation and other experts have indicated that Omicron may be easily transmissible but does not cause severe symptoms. Let’s hope this is true.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Disease Control says all 17 people tested after coming into close contact with the country’s first Omicron case have tested negative. On Monday, officials confirmed that the variant had been detected in an American business traveller who’d arrived in Thailand from Spain, via Dubai.

The Omicron variant is predicted to become the dominant strain globally, taking over from the Delta variant. Health experts say there is not yet enough data to determine the severity of the Omicron threat but preliminary findings appear to indicate it may be no more severe than other variants.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Thai PM says another national lockdown “unlikely” despite Omicron variant | News by Thaiger

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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