PM calls urgent meeting to discuss Omicron variant


THERE will be an urgent meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive committee presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House tomorrow (Dec. 3) to discuss the Omicron variant of coronavirus that is spreading across the world from southern Africa, Thai Rath newspaper said this afternoon.

Mr. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said although the Covid situation in Thailand had improved Gen. Prayut cautiously instructed the security arm and other relevant agencies to head off risk factors that could trigger a new outbreak.

This involves both stopping illegal immigration as well as expediateing the tracking of foreigners who came to Thailand before the ban on travellers from eight southern African countries was imposed. These are Botswana, Estwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, 

Altogether 738 travellers from southern Africa who came to Thailand before the ban was announced are urged to quickly contact the authorities for the RT-PCR Covid test.

The Prime Minister is satisfied with Covid vaccination drive as from Feb. 28 to Dec. 1 this year 93,929,601 doses of vaccines had been administered. First jabs totalled 48,594,537, second jab 41,827,020, third jab 3,490,779, and fourth jab 17,265.

This total is close to the goal of administering 100 million doses this year.

Progress had also been made in vaccinating students aged 12-18 years as from Oct. 4 to Nov. 30 this year 5,836,791 shots were given with this being higher than the overall number of students who had volunteered to receive the jabs.

Meanwhile the Public Health Ministry said early this morning that there were 4,971 new Covid cases and 33 deaths over the past 24 hours with this taking the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 2,096,866. 

Of the new batch of cases 4,599 emerged in surveillance and healthcare systems, 163 were found through proactive search in communities, 198 got infected in prisons and detention centres while 11 overseas travellers tested positive.

Another 5,402 patients have recovered taking total recoveries since April 1 to 2,003,730 with 73,726 patients still undergoing treatment.


Top: The prospect of a fast-spreading variant has raised fears of a return of the sort of restrictions that shut down a swathe of industries in 2020. Photo: Reuters and published by The Straits Times

Home Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talking to the press. Photo: Thai Rath

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