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5 Omicron variant infections identified in Phuket

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Omicron has been identified in Phuket. (via KARE)

Phuket province has now identified 5 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 according to health officials on the island. All 5 infections were identified from the RT-PCR test that all international arrivals are administered as soon as they land in Thailand.

The Omicron infections were found in people who arrived on December 13 and December 14. One infection was in a Thai national who was returning from a pilgrimage to Saudia Arabia via Qatar, while another was a Tunisian person from France. A third infection was found in a Swedish traveller coming from Sweden and the last 2 were identified in an American and a German person, both of whom had flown from the UK.

The travellers who tested positive for the Omicron variant in Phuket were between the ages of 24 and 26. 3 had been fully vaccinated with Pfizer, while one had received 2 Moderna vaccines. The Thai national had received 2 doses of the Sinovac vaccine as well as a Pfizer booster shot. They were all transferred to hospital facilities.

All 5 travellers had travelled on flights routed through through the Middle East and had tested negative for Covid-19 with PCR tests before boarding the flight to Phuket. All had visited the Hajj in Mecca. There were 132 other passengers on the flight but no other positive tests for Omicron have been identified yet in Phuket.

They were entering Thailand as part of the Test & Go program that would have allowed them to travel freely after testing, had the results been negative. The group of 5 passengers were quarantined locally for 5 days before moving south to Pattani province to continue quarantine there under a special arrangement from the Phuket Provincial Police. They will remain under observation by medical staff for another 9 days for a full 14-day quarantine.

The first positive test for the Omicron variant in Phuket was first identified on Friday, but the other 4 passengers were already under quarantine before the Covid-19 infection was confirmed as the Omicron variant. The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office confirmed that the outbreak was fully contained and there was no chance it would spread onto the island. They assured that there was no safety threat to the people of Phuket and urged everyone not to panic.

5 Omicron variant infections identified in Phuket | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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    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.

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