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All arrivals free of new strain, say virus chiefs

All arrivals free of new strain, say virus chiefs

BANGKOK: All 1,007 visitors from southern Africa who recently arrived in Thailand have tested negative for COVID-19, the Department of Disease Control insisted yesterday (Nov 28).

By Bangkok Post

Monday 29 November 2021, 09:32AM

Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

All remain in isolation under Thailand’s tourism sandbox programmes, which means they are being closely monitored by health authorities, said Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the DDC, as he sought to allay fears yesterday that the Omicron coronavirus variant may be carried into the country by travellers.

The new mutation, which is potentially more transmissible, was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy and Hong Kong, reports the Bangkok Post.

The Department of Medical Sciences has found no evidence of a single case of the variant in Thailand, said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek.

Avista Grande Phuket Karon - MGallery

The department is now asking all private hospitals to also submit specimens from all patients who test positive for COVID-19 to be genetically sequenced to identify each individual’s strain and its prevalence, she said.

The Centre for Medical Genomics of Ramathibodi Hospital, meanwhile, is in the process of developing a test kit for accurately detecting the Omicron variant using a mass array technology, which is expected to be completed in about two weeks.

Prof Dr Nithi Mahanonda, secretary-general of Chulabhorn Royal Academy, meanwhile, urged members of the public to stay calm and wait until clearer information is available.

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Taswegian | 30 November 2021 - 07:49:00

Isn't it funny that an anagram of Omicron is moronic? It has been reported that most who get this variant only have a slight headache and cold symptoms. Pfizer have said they can tweak their vaccine for this variant within 100 days. I have to say I agree with Kamala Pete on this one!

Kamala Pete | 29 November 2021 - 12:27:28

Look on the bright side, If Omicron, as reported from South Africa, is very transmissible but mild, then it could act as mother nature's vaccination and help the world get herd immunity at little cost!!

maverick | 29 November 2021 - 10:44:38

The main source of this variant Southern Africa already required quarantine so anything to slow it down is good - gives scientists time to establish whether variant is a risk to those vaccinated - before govt over reacts due to public opinion - need to live with it 

JohnC | 29 November 2021 - 10:19:49

No matter what steps Thailand takes it will get in to the country just as the other variants have done so. Even in lockdown illegal immigrants sneaking over land borders will bring it in, or tourists who do not show any symptoms on arrival. Let us see how many days pass before we read it is already here.


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