2 more Thais infected with new Covid variant from South Africa

Safety protocols being conducted by Thai health officials at the airport. (Image: mcot.net)

Two more Thais have been detected with the new South African Covid variant making it a total of 3 citizens who are currently being treated in a state quarantine facility. Currently, Thai nationals are not required to be tested prior to returning to the country although they must undergo quarantine protocols upon arrival.

Opas Putcharoen from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Centre has now confirmed there are 3 Thai patients who are infected with the B1.351 strain.

Recently, a Thai gemstone dealer returning from Tanzania was tested positive for the virus. Nation Thailand reports that the man developed severe pneumonia-like symptoms but is now showing improvement in his condition after being treated with Remdesivir, an anti-viral medication.

Opas is calling on the government to speed up efforts to prevent the South African variant to spread in the country. In addition, the CCSA is proposing to increase the quarantine period to 21 days for returnees arriving from South Africa and other high risk countries.

Meanwhile, Thailand is expecting 200,000 doses of Sinovac from China to arrive on 21 February while waiting for another 61 million doses from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca which is thought to be only 10% effective against the South African variant.

Reports of other variants have started to spread in several countries, including the Brazilian variant and the highly contagious UK variant.

Currently, 9 cases of the UK variant have been detected and are being treated at local quarantine facilities. At the moment, UK health officials are now monitoring another new strain of the virus detected recently in England and believed to have originated from Nigeria, another country to be added to the ‘watch list’.

Sources: The Thaiger | Nation Thailand