THE PUBLIC Health Ministry said today (Dec. 20) that the number of Omicron variant cases rose to 63 as of yesterday afternoon with 30 more suspected to have likewise been infected with this Covid strain, TV Channel 7 said.
Dr. Supakit Sirilak, the head of the Medical Sciences Department, said all except one were travellers coming to the country. The latter is a Thai woman married to a Colombian pilot and caught the infection from him.
All those who had close contact with her have been traced and none have been found to be infected with Omicron so far.
He added that this variant of coronavirus has now spread to 89 countries but the total could be higher because some countries do not have the ability to decode the genes.
In addition three subspecies of Omicron have now been found, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3, but he reassured that test kits can detect them.
Data from South Africa show that this strain spreads relatively quickly but the rates of serious illness and death are not higher than before. There is as yet limited information about whether Omicron is more severe than previous strains but the World Health Organisation recognises that there is an impact on vaccines with a third booster jab significantly strengthening immunity.
However Dr. Supakit warned that if the Test & Go entry procedure remains in place and only one-time RT-PCR test required it could lead to patients slipping through the net because of the virus incubation period. As these travellers would not be quarantined it could lead to clusters forming.
Meanwhile the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said this morning there were 2,525 Covid cases and 31 deaths over the past 24 hours taking the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 2,165,180 and from the onset of the pandemic to 2,194,053.
Of this batch of cases 2,502 were among the general public, 23 fell sick in prisons and detention centres while 42 overseas arrivals tested positive.
Another 4,190 patients were cured taking total recoveries since April to 2,105,122 and from the start of the pandemic 2,132,548 with 40,097 still undergoing treatment.
Today’s 31 fatalities raised the death toll to 21,408.
Top: Omicron spreading among the public. Image: d3sign/Getty published by Fastcompany.com
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