Thailand detects first case of Omicron COVID-19 variant

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Thailand has detected its first potential case of the Omicron coronavirus variant, a senior health official said on Monday.
The case, which is still awaiting the result of a second test, was identified as a male U.S. citizen who had traveled to Thailand from Spain at the end of November, Supakit Sirilak, the Director-General of the Medical Science Department, told a news conference.

The Medical Science Department released a timeline of detailing how the case was discovered in Thailand:

Infected Person : The 35-year-old business man, US citizen who had lived in Spain for one year before he arrived in Thailand.

• June 28: The patient received one shot of the Johnson & Johnson in the US November 28: Patient took RT-PCR test in Spain and got a negative result.
• November 29: Patient flew from Spain to Dubai for a nine-hour layover. Claims to have worn a face mask at all times.
• November 30: Arrived in Bangkok at around midnight, got a drive-through test at a hospital and stayed at a qualified hotel in Test&Go Program.
• December 1: Patient tested positive and was admitted to hospital despite having no symptoms.
• December 3: Sample was sent to the Department of Medical Sciences and confirmed as Omicron variant.

The ministry said the patient had been in contact with two airport staff and 17 hotel staff members, who have now all been placed into quarantine as a precautionary measure.

While officials were still waiting for the results from a second RT-PCR test, Dr Supakit said “the chance that the infection is the Omicron variant is 99.92%”.

Dr Supakit added that it is likely more Omicron cases to be discovered in Thailand.