Covid-19 variants

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Concern over new Omicron mutation discovered in Hong Kong

    A leading health expert in Thailand has expressed concern about a new Omicron sub-variant that has surfaced in Hong Kong. Dr Chalermchai Boonyaleephan, the vice chair of the Public Health Commission, says Omicron has now mutated into 3 sub-variants, the latest being the BA.2.2 mutation reported in Hong Kong. The territory is currently experiencing its worst Covid-19 wave to date,…

  • Coronavirus World

    WHO says Europe could be heading for end of pandemic following Omicron surge

    The World Health Organisation’s Europe director says the region could be headed for the end of the pandemic. According to an AFP report, Hans Kluge says the highly-contagious Omicron variant is likely to infect 60% of Europeans by March. This could move the virus into a new phase and herald the end of its pandemic status in Europe, once the…

  • Coronavirus World

    US health officials confirm Omicron now the dominant variant

    Health officials in the US say the highly-contagious Omicron mutation is now the dominant Covid-19 variant in the country. According to an AFP report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Omicron now accounts for 73.2% of new infections in the last week for which data is available. In the week prior to that, the variant accounted for just…

  • Coronavirus World

    Covid cases top 50 million in US, Delta variant still dominant, Omicron spreading

    The US has now reported over 50 million Covid-19 infections, according to a Reuters report, and the death toll has surpassed 800,000. The Delta variant is still dominant, accounting for 99% of infections, but cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant continue to be reported. Infections have been steadily increasing over the last 2 weeks, following a 2-month period of declining…

  • Coronavirus World

    WHO urges wealthy nations not to hoard vaccines as Omicron spreads

    The World Health Organisation has appealed to wealthy nations not to hoard vaccine supplies as the Omicron variant spreads. Several European countries, including Germany and the UK, are experiencing a wave of infections linked to the variant, with governments forced to reintroduce tough restrictions and urge people to come forward for first, second or third vaccine doses. According to an…

  • World

    UN agency criticises introduction of travel bans over Omicron variant

    The United Nations World Tourism Organisation says travel bans introduced following the emergence of the Omicron variant should be lifted. UNWTO members voiced their concerns about the bans during the organisation’s recent General Assembly. According to a TTR Weekly report, countries from all regions of the world voiced solidarity with African nations that have become the target of travel bans…

  • World

    Top US scientist says Omicron “almost certainly” no more severe than Delta

    America’s top infectious diseases expert has echoed statements made by the World Health Organisation that Omicron is unlikely to be more severe than other Covid-19 variants. Dr Anthony Fauci says that while it’s too soon to say for sure, there are early indications the variant may in fact result in milder illness. “There is some suggestion that it might even…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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

    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…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    No need to panic over Thailand’s first Omicron case, says PM

    The Thai PM has called on the public not to panic over the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the kingdom. According to a Thai PBS World report, Prayut Chan-o-cha says everyone should remain on their guard and the unvaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says health officials will continue to check for…

  • Coronavirus World

    Health officials say Omicron probably in the Netherlands prior to South Africa reports

    Dutch health officials say they’ve detected the Omicron variant in 2 local Covid-19 infections from more than 11 days ago. The development would indicate that the variant was circulating in Europe prior to the reports issued by South African authorities last week. According to an AP report, Japan and France have joined the list of countries to confirm cases of…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Public Health Ministry monitoring Omicron variant, public urged not to panic

    Thailand’s Public Health Ministry says the public shouldn’t panic over the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit says the ministry is monitoring the situation and on alert for possible Omicron cases. Meanwhile, people should continue to observe existing disease prevention measures. “The departments of Medical Sciences and Disease Control have been tasked with monitoring the new variant…

  • Tourism

    No plans to reverse re-opening, despite Omicron variant – Tourism Ministry

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister says there will be no going back for the country’s re-opening plans, despite the emergence of the Omicron variant. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says closing the borders is not an option anymore. “Nobody wants another border closure as it was really difficult for us to re-open the country. Our economy still suffers from…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

    Omicron is the new Covid-19 to watch out for, having just received its Greek name and the highest category of classification, “variant of concern”. The B.1.1.529 strain, recently uncovered in southern Africa and already seeing some spread, was given the Omicron name and classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation yesterday. From least worrisome to most…

  • Coronavirus World

    Signs Delta surge is easing globally despite rising infections in Europe

    The world has now recorded over 250 million Covid-19 infections and some European countries are currently seeing a significant rise in cases. However, globally, a Reuters analysis shows that the surge caused by the Delta variant is showing signs of easing. Russia, the Ukraine, and Greece are some of the countries now reporting near record highs since the start of…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Health Ministry says Delta Plus variant won’t stop Thailand re-opening on schedule

    The Health Ministry says the discovery of the new Delta Plus variant in Thailand will not affect the country’s November 1 re-opening. Sathit Pitutecha, deputy public health minister, says the mutation has not been categorised as a variant of concern. “Because viruses mutate all the time, only a mutation that causes severe illness and makes the virus spread easier or…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Health Ministry says don’t panic, no cases of Mu variant found in Thailand

    Thailand’s Health Ministry says there have been no cases of the Mu variant of Covid-19 reported in the country to date. The World Health Organisation has named Mu – or B.1.621 – as a variant of interest, as it could be more resistant to vaccines. However, the Bangkok Post reports that Dr Supakit Sirilak from the Department of Medical Sciences…

  • Coronavirus Vaccines

    Government says Sinovac works, despite claims of lower efficacy against variants

    Amid growing calls for more mRNA doses to combat the spread of the Delta variant, the Thai government continues to defend the Sinovac vaccine. The Bangkok Post reports that the government plans to purchase another 12 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, citing good results from a study of people fully vaccinated with Sinovac. However, the public is calling on…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Top medic says cloth masks don’t protect against Covid-19

    A prominent infectious disease specialist at Bangkok’s Phramongkutklao Hospital says cloth masks are ineffective against Covid-19 and people should wear surgical masks. Nation Thailand reports that Dr Thanaphan Phibunbannakit has called on the government to procure additional surgical masks as Thailand logs 4,786 new infections and a record high of 53 deaths. Thanaphan says people who are yet to receive…

  • South

    South hit by 402 cases of Beta variant

    The south of the country has been struck by a wave of Beta variant Covid-19 infections, after a cluster first discovered in a school spread to 402 people. The Beta variant, originally known as the South African variant, gives health officials greater cause for concern as studies show it may be more resistant to vaccines. According to the Bangkok Post,…

  • Indonesia

    Over 350 vaccinated medical workers in Indonesia infected, dozens hospitalised

    Hundreds of healthcare workers in Indonesia have tested positive for Covid-19, despite being vaccinated, with dozens hospitalised. According to a Reuters report, over 350 medical staff, all of whom have received the Sinovac vaccine, have been confirmed as infected. Most are asymptomatic, but dozens have been hospitalised with high fever and low oxygen levels. The infected healthcare workers are in…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Medic says 10% of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are Delta variant

    The head of the Department of Medical Sciences says 10% of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are the Delta variant, formerly known as the Indian variant. According to a Bangkok Post report, 496 cases of the variant have been detected in the Kingdom between April 7 and June 13. DMS chief Dr Supakit Sirilak says 404 of those are in Bangkok,…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Labour party urges UK to close borders to Thailand, Vietnam

    The Labour party in the United Kingdom has suggested that the UK border be closed to travellers from Vietnam and Thailand, citing the appearance and spread of a variety of Covid-19 variants. Home Secretary Priti Patel was warned Friday night by Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds that the two Southeast Asian nations should be moved to the red list and…