'Don't panic over Omicron'

'Don't panic over Omicron'

Two women make the most of a photo opportunity in a field of sunflowers in Lop Buri. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Two women make the most of a photo opportunity in a field of sunflowers in Lop Buri. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Business leaders are urging the public not to panic over Thailand's first Omicron coronavirus variant case, saying a lockdown will be a disaster for the economy.

The chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries said there is no need for the public and the government to panic.

"A lockdown is not the answer. We must figure out how to co-exist [with the virus]," he said.

''The situation is starting to look up. During a recent trip to Phuket, local residents told me that things are finally improving," he said. "People should not panic, otherwise the economy will not survive."

The chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce agreed, saying bringing back lockdowns will hurt international tourism.

"It will scare off [tourists from] foreign countries, because Thailand had just lifted its lockdown," he said.

Thailand confirmed its first Omicron variant infection on Monday, after tests showed that the American businessman of Thai descent who tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving from Spain was infected by the new variant.

The man underwent RT-PCR testing in Spain on Nov 28, the result of which came back negative for Covid-19.

The next day, he flew to Dubai where he transited for nine hours before he left for Thailand on Nov 30.

He flew on Emirates flight EK372 from Dubai to Suvarnabhumi airport, during which he showed no symptoms. He was inoculated with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

However, the RT-PCR test taken right after he landed showed that he was infected with Covid-19.

The Department of Disease Control said that while the Omicron variant is more highly transmissible than other variants, most patients infected with the new strain show no symptoms or mild symptoms similar to flu.

Most Omicron cases found in other countries did not require hospitalisation and there have been no reports of deaths caused by the new variant yet.

Thailand is the 47th country to detect the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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Vocabulary

  • chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน
  • co-exist: to exist together in the same place or at the same time, especially in a peaceful way - การดำรงอยู่ร่วมกัน
  • descent: being related to a particular person or group of people who lived in the past - การสืบเชื้อสาย
  • federation: a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims - สหพันธ์, สมาคม
  • inoculate: to treat a person or animal with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease -
  • panic: to have a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly - ตื่นตกใจ
  • scare off (verb): to make people scared and frightened so that they run away -
  • situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • survive: to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant - รอดไปได้
  • symptoms (noun): signs that someone has an illness - อาการ
  • transit: to move something from one place to another - ส่งผ่าน
  • transmissible: (of a disease) able to be passed on from one person to another -
  • variant: a thing that is a slightly different form or type of something else - สิ่งที่ผันแปร, สิ่งที่แตกต่างกัน
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