People wearing face masks exit a BTS skytrain in Bangkok on December 6, 2021 as Thailand recorded on Monday its first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus Omicron variant.
Jack TAYLOR / AFP
Eight COVID-19 Omicron variant cases have been detected in Thailand to date, with three more awaiting confirmatory tests, according to the Medical Sciences Department.
The 11 cases include five Thais, all of them having arrived from African countries, including Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. The remainder are foreigners.
Meanwhile, Clinical Professor Emeritus Dr Udom Kachinthorn, advisor to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), warned today (Monday) that more cases are expected and the variant may become the dominant variant in Thailand if the population lowers its guard.
He cited the case of South Korea, saying that those infected with the Omicron variant have not travelled abroad, adding that the new variant has now spread to more than 60 countries.
He said the Omicron variant spreads faster than Delta, currently the dominant variant in Thailand, adding that it took about six months for the Alpha variant to mutate into the Delta variant.
He also warned that the Omicron variant will soon become the dominant variant unless the population gets vaccinated and protects itself by wearing face masks all the time while outdoors, wash their hands often with sanitizers and maintains social distancing.
Professor Dr. Udom cited the different levels of COVID-19 infections in Thailand and several European countries, saying that about 30,000 new cases are reported each day in some of those countries, despite the fact that 80-90% of their populations have been vaccinated, compared to Thailand where daily infections are declining because 99% of Thais wear face masks when they are outdoors.
Source: Thai PBS World