The Ministry of Public Health has announced finding Thailand’s first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in an American Thai who had traveled from Spain. The patient currently displays almost no symptoms and is under the close supervision of officials.
Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director-General Opas Karnkawinpong disclosed that the American man had been living in Spain for one year and worked as a businessperson. He had been fully inoculated via the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and his pre-departure RT-PCR test did not produce a positive result prior to him entering Thailand on November 29. The on-arrival RT-PCR test issued in accordance with Thailand’s Test & Go entry pathway produces a positive result that was confirmed on December 1. Lab tests pointed to a 99.92% probability of the Covid strain present in the patient to be the Omicron variant.
Timeline of the first Omicron patient in Thailand
Recently, the timeline of first omicron infection which is a male, 35 years old, Thai/American nationality stayed in Spain for 1 year as a businessman. no underlying disease (The infected person has no symptoms)
- On November 28, he received 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccination, PCR test in Spain, go dining with his friends no infection found. (Friends are not sick until recently)
- On the 29th of November, I flew from Spain to Dubai (EK142), stayed in Dubai for 9 hours, didn’t talk to anyone. Wear a mask at all times
- On the 30th of November ’64 flew from Dubai to Bangkok (EK372) -After landing (midnight) take a Drive thru sample at the contracting hospital and go back to the hotel. (Patients enter the Test & Go project)
- On December 1, 1964, he was informed by the hospital that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Ct : ORF1ab=33.10 , N gene=30.71.
- On 3 Dec. 19, send samples for confirmation at Department of Medical Sciences
- All staff that came into contract with (17 people) Airport staff (2 people)
Addressing rumours of current COVID-19 vaccines being ineffective against the Omicron variant, Dr. Opas asserted that vaccines are still effective, and will reduce the severity of symptoms and the number of deaths from Covid.
Additionally leaders are warning the public to not unnecessarily panic due to the emergence of Omicron coronavirus variant infection. The Bangkok Post reported that the chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Supant Mongkolsuthree, said there is no need for the public and the government to panic over the new strain, as a lockdown will deal a serious blow to the Thai economy, which is just starting to show signs of rebounding. “A lockdown is not the answer. We must figure out how to co-exist [with the virus],” he said, noting that the number of new cases is on the decline, with recoveries consistently outnumbering hospital admissions.
The economy is showing slow signs of recovery and business leaders are urging caution in regards to any potential knee jerk reaction in regards to a lockdown. Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o- cha is confident in the screening process for visitors and the ability of the kingdom’s health system to fight the pandemic.
This is evident is the dropping infection rate which was at last has reach t’s lowest of 3,525 new cases and 31 deaths.