Two more 'potential' Omicron cases found

Two more 'potential' Omicron cases found

The government is expected to ease Covid-19 restrictions further now the situation has started to improve, though two more potential cases of the Omicron variant were detected yesterday.

Sumanee Watcharasin, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said yesterday the CCSA will meet on Monday to consider a further relaxation of restrictions as the number of infections is starting to ease, in addition to the national vaccination drive making substantial progress.

Yesterday, more than 263,000 coronavirus vaccine doses were administered, bringing the total number to more than 95 million.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was satisfied with the improving situation. Thailand yesterday logged 3,618 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest number for the past three months, the spokesman said.

Gen Prayut also encouraged those who have yet to be vaccinated to receive shots, and said he wants to see Thais enjoy themselves during the New Year festivities without lockdowns being brought back again, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, potential Omicron cases were detected in two Thai women returning from Nigeria, according to the CCSA.

A 46-year-old woman and a 36-year-old woman returned to Bangkok on Nov 24 on the same flight from Nigeria on Qatar Airways flight QR803. The results of RT-PCR tests conducted on them upon arrival came back positive for Covid-19.

They are being quarantined at a hotel-cum hospital (hospitel) because they were unvaccinated and did not come from the 63 countries or territories exempt from quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers.

Following the World Health Organization's declaration of Omicron as a new variant of concern on Nov 26, health officials decided to double-check samples from the women taken on Nov 24.

It was found that both women were "potentially" infected with the Omicron variant, Dr Sumanee said.

The specimens were sent to the Department of Medical Sciences' lab for further detailed testing and the results will be ready within a few days, she said, adding that an investigation by the Department of Disease Control revealed that the two women did not wear face masks while they were taking part in a meeting in Nigeria.

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