36 local cases of Indian COVID-19 variant found in Thailand

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Thailand has detected its first 36 domestically transmitted cases of the highly infectious COVID-19 variant first found in India, authorities said on Friday, a discovery that could complicate efforts to address its most deadly outbreak so far.

All 36 cases with the B.1.617.2 variant were found among people staying in construction workers’ accommodation in the capital Bangkok and included 15 migrant workers, the health ministry said.

The B.1.617.2 variant, which ravaged India, is believed by some experts to be even more transmissible than the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in Britain, which Thailand’s health ministry on Friday said was found in the majority of recent cases in the country.

Thailand is fighting its most severe outbreak yet, with cases quadrupling and deaths increasing seven-fold since the start of April.

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