Chiang MaiCoronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai identifies 2 possible Omicron cases in tourists

PHOTO: 2 Omicron infections have been detected in Chiang Mai. (via T Douglas Gurley MD)

Two foreigners who are visiting Chiang Mai have tested positive for Covid-19 and are believed to have the Omicron variant, marking the first detected in the province. Both travellers had come through Suvarnabhumi Airport as part of the Test & Go programme and both passed an RT-PCR test. One visitor was a 22 year old German traveller and the other a 64 year old British man, according to the governor of Chiang Mai. Full confirmation of whether or not it’s the Omicron variant is expected to come back from the lab in 2 days.

GERMAN MAN

The 22 year old from Germany landed December 17 in Bangkok and 3 days later hopped on a Thai Lion to Chiang Mai on December 20. He stayed in the Chang Klan area in a condo and did a jungle excursion the next day. He felt extraordinarily tired after and a test the next day confirmed he had Covid-19.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Control 1 reported that his test was sent to the Medical Sciences Centre in Chiang Mai which returned results saying it was a potential match for the Omicron variant.

Health authorities identified 18 people as having come in close enough contact to the man to be at risk for Covid-19. 13 were passengers on the plane seated near him and 4 have tested negative so far, as well as a taxi driver.

BRITISH MAN

The Englishman is a 64 year old man who landed on December 18 in Bangkok before taking a Thai Smile flight the next day to Chiang Mai. On Christmas Eve, he took an antigen test that resulted in a positive diagnosis, so he took an RT-PCR test at Doi Saket Hospital and the second test came back positive also.

He was admitted to the hospital and contact tracing was done. Authorities tested 3 of the man’s friends and 2 have already come back negative; the third is still pending. Now they are tracking down passengers who sat near the man on his flight and a taxi driver he rode with.

Like the German man, tests suggest the possibility of the Omicron variant but test samples have been sent from Chiang Mai to be analysed for both men in Bangkok at the Department of Medical Services with results being expected on Tuesday.

Authorities warned that anyone exposed to either of the 2 men needs to take an RT-PCR test and stay home for 2 weeks, cancelling all other activities.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Neill Fronde

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.