Thailand Omicron update: More than 500 cases, many Test & Go travellers

Temperature check (October 2021) | Photo via Suvarnabhumi Airport

As of yesterday, there have been 514 Omicron cases reported in Thailand, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Of that number, 147 are local transmissions while others are from overseas, many who travelled to Thailand under the Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme. The entry programme allows fully vaccinated travellers from approved countries to enter Thailand after passing an on-arrival RT-PCR test. Registration for the scheme has been closed due to the uptick in Omicron cases involving travellers entering the country.

Here are some notable cases reported over the last few weeks…

25 Omicron cases reported after religious trip to Saudi Arabia

After returning from an Islamic pilgrimage trip to Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, 25 of the 31 people in the group tested positive for the Omicron variant, according to the Bangkok Post.

They entered under the Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme, which allows fully vaccinated travellers to enter Thailand after passing an RT-PCR Covid-19 test.

Koh Samui reports imported Omicron cases involving Test & Go travellers

Three foreign travellers in Koh Samui tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month after arriving on the island from overseas, according to the Thai media outlet Khaosod.

The two British nationals and Belgian nationals travelled separately and entered Thailand under the Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme, which requires the vaccinated travellers to pass an RT-PCR test before being allowed to travel through Thailand.

Phuket reports four Omicron cases, lab tests being done to confirm variant for 74 cases

Phuket reported four Omicron cases on December 20. One was a Thai national and the other three were foreigners from America, Tunisia, and Germany. At first, the province revealed five Omicron cases, but later confirmed the total was four and the other one case under review was found to be another variant, according to the Thai media outlet Baanmuang.

There are now 74 Covid-19 cases in Phuket under review. Lab tests are being done to determine the variant for the infections reported between December 15 and 24, according to the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office

According to Phuket’s Public Health, from 15 – 24 December, there are 74 infected people who are now under investigation to find the variant, and most of them are from abroad.

Local Omicron transmission reported at Surin, patient went to a local festival

A 16 year old, who attended the Chang Fair, a popular annual elephant festival, on December 15 and 17, tested positive for the Omicron variant, according to Nation Thailand. Those who attended the festival can contact a local hospital for a free Covid-19 test. Surin’s Public Health authorities have been asking locals not to panic.

Officials say they suspect the teenager contracted the virus from her relatives who recently came back from Denmark and have also tested positive for Omicron, according to the Thai media outlet Khaosod. He had dinner with his relatives on December 20 and tested positive for Omicron on Christmas.

Two foreign tourists in Chiang Mai and another in Chiang Rai infected with Omicron

Two foreign tourists in Chiang Mai tested positive for the Omicron variant. Their lab results are being tested again to confirm that they are infected with the emerging variant, according to the Bangkok Post. The travellers, a German and a British national, entered Thailand through the Test & Go scheme and tested negative for Covid-19 upon arrival in Bangkok.

After travelling to Chiang Mai, one tourist felt exhausted after a jungle trip and was tested again at a nearby hospital. The British national also tested for Covid-19 again after arriving in Chiang Mai and his test came back positive.

Another British man, who travelled from England to Bangkok, tested negative upon arrival and entered Thailand under the Test & Go scheme, according to the Bangkok Post. After two days in Bangkok, he flew to Chiang Mai and met up with some friends. He then travelled to Chiang Rai and then developed a fever. He tested positive in an at-home antigen test and his results were confirmed after an RT-PCR test at the hospital.

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