THE Public Health Ministry’s Science Department today (Dec. 5) denied a rumour circulating widely that an African patient has been found to be infected with Omicron variant of coronavirus in this country, verifying that this patient has been infected with the Delta strain, Siam Rath newspaper said.
Dr. Supakit Sirilak, the department’s director-general, said it takes time to determine whether a patient is infected with the new Omicron variant as there is no specific reagent to detect it. Those used for Alpha and Beta variants are used and if there is positive result for both then it is assumed that the patient is infected with the new strain.
Moreover if the Omicron variant is detected in Thailand then the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Flu Data (GISAID) would have to be immediately informed.
He added that the Omicron variant has now spread to many countries around the world and it is possible to detect it among travellers coming to the country.
However everything has to be verified and the public is urged to not panic and continue protecting themselves as usual, that is wearing face masks, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently with vaccines being an important mechanism in reducing the severity of the disease.
Meanwhile the ministry said early this morning that there were 4,704 coronavirus cases and 27 deaths over the past 24 hours taking the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 2,112,378.
Of the new batch of patients 4,447 emerged in surveillance and healthcare systems, 202 were found through proactive search in communities, 47 fell sick in prisons and detention centres while eight foreign arrivals tested positive.
Another 6,149 patients have been cured taking total recoveries to since April 1 to 2,021,389 while 71,482 are still undergoing treatment.
Today’s 27 fatalities raised the death toll since April 1 to 20,850.
Top: A representative image of Omicron coronavirus variant. Photo: AFP/Justin Tallis and published by Channel NewsAsia
Home Page: Dr. Supakit clarifying that the African patient has been infected with Delta not Omicron variant. Photo: Siam Rath