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Thailand Detects South Africa COVID-19 Variant

BANGKOK, Feb 15 (NNN-Bernama) — A Thai man who returned from Tanzania and undergoing mandatory quarantine has tested positive for the South Africa COVID-19 variant.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman, Natapanu Nopakun said the 41-year-old gem trader who travelled from Tanzania had arrived in Thailand on Jan 29 and stayed at an alternative state quarantine (ASQ) centre.

He said the man was tested positive for the South Africa COVID-19 variant on Feb 3. Currently, he is being treated at the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Unit.

“We would like to assure that the patient had stayed at the ASQ centre upon arrival. There was no contact between the patient and any member of the public. All medical staff at the hospital and ASQ in contact with the patient have undergone the (COVID-19) test. All the results returned negative.

“The Department of Disease Control (DDC) is closely monitoring the situation of the new variant in other countries. It is taking the necessary precautionary measures by conducting genetic analysis of the virus found in patients who arrived from countries that reported the new (COVID-19) variant,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing here Monday.

With the number of new COVID-19 variants popping up around the world, Natapanu said Thailand has imposed a stricter screening process for passengers arriving from countries that reported the new variant.

“Patients tested positive for the new variant will remain in hospital for more than 14 days,” he said.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 143 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, bringing the total number of infections in the kingdom to 24,714 and the fatalities to 82.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson, Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said the new fatalities involved a 62-year-old Thai man from Ubon Ratchathani who died on Sunday and a 78-year-old Thai man from Samut Sakhon who died on Saturday. Both had underlying health conditions.

Of the 143 new cases, she said 132 were local transmissions, of which 68 were through active case detection and 64 were those seeking treatment at hospitals, while 11 were imported cases.

She said Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the current outbreak in Thailand, recorded 69 new cases.

“Pathum Thani recorded 50 new COVID-19 cases through active case detection, comprising 37 Thais, eight Myanmar and five Lao nationals,” she said.

Dr Apisamai said Pathum Thani was the latest cluster in the kingdom where the Pornpat and Suchart markets in Thanyaburi district detected more than 200 COVID-19 cases.

“The public visiting these markets is advised to monitor their health condition closely and go to hospital if they have COVID-19 symptoms,” she added.


Source: NAM News Network