NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: The first Omicron case in Nakhon Si Thammarat is a Bangkok accountant who had already received three coronavirus vaccine shots, authorities said on Saturday.
The 26-year-old employee of Kasemrad Hospital in Bangkok had travelled from the capital with a niece to attend the funeral of her grandfather in tambon Chalong of Sichon district, Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Kaisorn Wisitwong said.
Before her trip, she took a rapid antigen test on Dec 28 and the result was negative. She then boarded a Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat bus on that day and arrived at her destination on the morning of Dec 29. Two relatives picked her and her niece up at the Sichon bus terminal and took them to the house where the funeral rite was being held.
She later developed fever-like symptoms and took another antigen test, which was positive for Covid-19. She went to Sichon Hospital with her father and her niece to undergo an RT-PCR test which confirmed the ATK result.
The hospital sent the test results to the 11th Medical Science Centre in Surat Thani, which confirmed that the infection was the Omicron variant. The woman is now receiving treatment in an isolation room at Sichon Hospital. She has shown no other symptoms.
The patient had received three vaccine shots — two Sinovac shots and the Pfizer vaccine as a booster shot. She received the third shot on Aug 16, said the governor.
A total of 23 people were at risk as they had come into contact with the patient. They include family members and four colleagues in Bangkok. She has already notified them, said Mr Kaisorn.
In Sichon district, 10 people came into contact with the patient.
Of the 42 passengers on the bus that the woman had taken, nine were considered high-risk and the rest low-risk. Disease investigators have already contacted all at-risk people and told them to undergo Covid tests at nearby hospitals.
Those who were in the low-risk group were told to observe their conditions and seek medical treatment at hospitals if they develop symptoms, said the governor.
Nationwide, more than 1,100 people have now been confirmed to have the Omicron variant and Bangkok has recorded the highest number of cases, the Ministry of Public Health said on Friday.
Of the 1,145 Omicron cases recorded between Nov 1 and Dec 30, 620 were arrivals from abroad and 525 were local infections.
Authorities have said the country is likely to see a surge of local transmission of the new variant after the New Year travel season, with some models suggesting daily cases could reach between 10,000 and 30,000 before infections start to subside.