THE PUBLIC Health Ministry said today (Mar. 14) that four cases of the Omicron mutation BA. 2.2 that is hitting Hong Kong hard have been found in Thailand, Amarin TV said.
Dr. Supakit Sirilak, the head of the Medical Sciences Department, revealed that at present only 0.3 percent of the cases in the country are of the Delta variant with the remaining 99.7 percent being Omicron.
Of the total Omicron cases, 68 percent were BA.2 sublineage and 32.4 percent BA.1.
Regarding the new mutant BA2.2 strain that has just emerged, one of the four cases was a foreigner and three Thais with all being found through the domestic strain surveillance system and confirmation from GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data) still awaited.
Initially all four patients had mild symptoms and have now been cured.
“I want to be confident in the system that we have put in place. We test by coding the whole body and send 500-600 samples to the GISAID every week, so if something is wrong we will find out for sure.
“Last week, March 7-13, we submitted 673 whole-body transcripts, most of them, a total of 333 samples, were of BA.1.1 variant, followed by 135 of BA.2.
“GISAID’s worldwide data shows that BA.1 is still the dominant strain, while BA.2 was found in about 250,000 cases with BA.3 still at the level of around 500 samples,” Dr. Supakit said.
He added that the BA.2.2 mutation that emerged in Hong Kong has not been assessed as a species of concern or to be watched so far because of inadequate data about its severity and ability to avoid vaccines.
While the BA. 3 strain has not appeared in Thailand, further information is still being gathered about BA.2.2 and BA.2.3 subvariants.
The ministry said this morning that there were 22,130 Covid cases and 69 deaths over the past 24 hours with this taking the cumulative confirmed total since the start of the pandemic to 3,206,955.
Meanwhile another 15,650 people tested positive by ATK and are still awaiting confirmation of infection with this total not added to the daily count.
Altogether 23,508 patients were cured taking total recoveries since the onset of the pandemic to 2,957,288 while 225,889 are still undergoing treatment.
Today’s 69 fatalities raised the death toll to 23,778.
A total of 125,940,785 doses of vaccines have been administered so far.
Top: A graphic illustration showing two Omicron variants. Photo: Houstonmethodist.org
Home Page: A medical staff testing a patient for Omicron infection. Photo: NNT