The assurance was announced through a report posted by Radio Thailand Phuket yesterday (July 21).
Dr Kusak’s message came after a report released by the Ministry of Public Health confirming that a 53-year-old man had tested positive for BA 2.75 in Trang province after returning from a meeting with foreigners in Phuket.
Dr Supakit Sirilak, Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences, noted in the report that the man experienced light symptoms of infection and tested positive twice by ATK (antigen test kit).
An RT-PCR test confirmed the infection, Dr Supakit said.
“The hospital sent samples for strain testing at the Medical Sciences Center in Trang to confirm the strain, which was confirmed to be Omicron subspecies BA 2.75,” Dr Supakit said.
“The Department of Medical Sciences therefore submitted the information to be published on the international database GISAID on July 18 and GISAID has reviewed and announced the system on July 19,” Dr Supakit noted in the release, issued yesterday (July 21).
Dr Supakit noted there was not enough information yet to confirm the speed of the spread of infection, but also noted how light the severity of infection was.
“It shouldn’t be too much of a concern,” Dr Supakit said.
PPHO Chief Dr Kusak yesterday echoed Sr Supakit’s understanding of the spread of BA 2.75, though his public announcement came only after Dr Supakit had confirmed the BA 2.75 infection contracted in Phuket and tested positive four days earlier.
“In Phuket we randomly detect subspecies all the time, but there have been no big clusters in the past month, and those who were found to be infected with strains of BA 2.75 had a history of receiving three doses of COVID-19 vaccine and had no severe symptoms,” he said.
“This indicates that vaccination helps with significant reductions in serious infections and death. Therefore, I would like to invite the people, especially in Group 608 [of higher at-risk people] to be vaccinated with booster shots so they have had three injections to increase their immunity.
“Also, people are urged to protect themselves by continuously practicing the 2U measures, which provide the best protection,” he added.
Dr Kusak also called on people to continue to wear face masks where appropriate.
“Even though wearing a mask is not compulsory, we would like people to carry a hygienic mask with them to enter areas that are considered risky,” he said.
“There are many gatherings in crowded areas. A mask can be worn for immediate protection,” he added.
“As for booster vaccinations, people can receive these by walk-in at Vachira Phuket Hospital, community hospitals and Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation [PPAO] hospitals. People should be vaccinated with at least three injections to boost immunity and protect themselves,” he said.