Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) confirmed today, December 7th, that Thailand has not found a second case of Omicron infection yet.
One of 17 high-risk contacts, who was working as a hotel waiter and was reportedly delivering food to an infected traveler, was initially found positive yesterday but just proved negative on the second test today, according to DDC Epidemiology Division Director Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont.
The disease investigation revealed that the possible infection was a 44-year-old Thai national who was reportedly handing documents and serving food to the infected US national of Thai descent, who was traveling from Spain, at his hotel room on December 1st. However, both of them were reportedly wearing masks when contacting. After that, the hotel worker returned to his hometown with his five family members.
His first Covid-19 test was done on the 5th and his result was likely to prove positive on the following day. However, the result was negative as of this afternoon, the Director revealed.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul further stated that the first Omicron infection is now under surveillance and treatment by public health officials. All of the traceable risk contacts from the expanding disease investigation are also isolated following the disease control measures. The infected individual is reportedly completely asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, the test samples of the reportedly infected hotel staff would be further examined for confirmation and possibly for Omicron detection. It is now under the process of the Department of Medical Sciences which will take about 3 days, Anutin stated.
“Sooner or later, every country will have the Omicron variant because people are traveling all the time. But Thailand has plans to handle the variant effectively by implementing more proactive screening and restricting arrivals from risk countries to enter Thailand. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also prohibits the issue of Certificate of Entry and Fit to Fly documents to travelers from African countries which helps limit the number of travelers,” Anutin stated.
Meanwhile, the Thai Department of Public Health has also stated multiple times today alone for people “not to panic” over the Omicron variant and that although scientists around the world were still studying the variant that there was still no conclusive proof the variant could lead to more hospitalizations, transmissions, vaccine evasion, or seriousness. However, the number of mutations of the variant continues to concern epidemiologists studying it. It will likely be at the very least several more weeks until conclusive, peer-reviewed, scientific data on the variant is complete.
Nervous business owners, especially in the hospitality industry, have already released public statements essentially pleading with the Thai government not to make “knee-jerk” reactions over the variant that could lead to yet more shutdowns or restrictions for their sector that had already faced almost two years of rules, regulations, lockdowns, and shutdowns.
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