Thailand finds first case of Omicron coronavirus variant
BANGKOK (NNT) – The Department of Public Health has announced the discovery of Thailand’s first case of the Omicron variant coronavirus in an American who had traveled from Spain. The patient is currently showing almost no symptoms and is under close supervision by authorities.
Department of Disease Control (DDC) director-general Opas Karnkawinpong revealed that the American had lived in Spain for a year and worked as a businessman. He had been fully inoculated via the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and his pre-departure RT-PCR test did not yield a positive result until he entered Thailand on November 29.
The inbound RT-PCR test issued in accordance with Thailand’s Test & Go route of entry produced a positive result which was confirmed on December 1. Laboratory tests have indicated a 99.92% chance that the Covid strain present in the patient is the Omicron variant.
Dr Opas said a new test will be done so authorities can be 100% sure the infection is due to the Omicron variant. He added that the patient was showing almost no symptoms and had been very diligent in observing public health precautions. Authorities considered that no one had been exposed to a high risk to the patient.
Responding to rumors that current COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective against the Omicron variant, Dr Opas asserted that the vaccines are still effective and will reduce the severity of symptoms and the number of deaths from Covid.
Information and sources
Reporter: Namo Vananupong
Editor: Thammarat Thadaphrom
National Office of Information and Public Relations: http://thainews.prd.go.th