Thailand reports first death from Omicron coronavirus variant

Thailand reports first death from Omicron coronavirus variant

People form a long queue for a booster shot at a Covid-19 vaccination centre at Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
People form a long queue for a booster shot at a Covid-19 vaccination centre at Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Thailand has reported its first death from the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, a Public Health Ministry official said on Sunday.

The death, a 86-year-old woman from the southern province of Songkhla, came after the country detected its first Omicron case last month that led to the reinstatement of a mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for foreign visitors.

"The woman is a bed-ridden, Alzheimer patient," ministry spokesman Rungrueng Kitphati told Reuters.

Such a death was expected as the country has so far reported over 10,000 Omicron cases, Dr Rungrueng said, adding that Thailand would not need further containment measures.

The provincial public health office in Songkhla said the woman lived in Hat Yai district and was infected by her grandson after he returned from Phuket. The woman had received two Pfizer shots at Na Mom Hospital in Hat Yai, it added.

The government reported 8,077 new infections and nine deaths on Sunday, taking the tally to more than 2.3 million cases and nearly 22,000 deaths since the pandemic started in 2020.

About 66% of the estimated 72 million living in the country have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccines, but only about 14.9% have received booster shots.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Thailand said the economy would take a 0.3% hit from Omicron, although it should be managed by the first half of the year.

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