Delivery man may be infected with new XJ Covid variant

Delivery man may be infected with new XJ Covid variant

Department of Medical Sciences director-general Supakit Sirilak.
Department of Medical Sciences director-general Supakit Sirilak.

A parcel delivery man may be infected with a new Covid-19 variant never before detected in Thailand, a senior health official said on Monday.

Department of Medical Sciences director-general Supakit Sirilak said the 34-year-old man may be infected with the XJ variant.

The XJ variant is another combination of the BA1 and BA2 variants. It was first detected in Finland.

Dr Supakit said a genome test on Feb 22 at a hospital in Bangkok found a coronavirus strain very close to the XJ recombinant.

"We still need more information for the confirmation," he said. "It is highly likely to be the XJ recombinant."

The man had previously been inoculated with two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, he said.

"He met many people due to the nature of his job. That made him vulnerable to infection," he said.

Thailand has already reported a first case of infection with Omicron XE, detected by the Centre for Medical Genomics of Ramathibodi Hospital.

Dr Supakit said there was no evidence the two new recombinants were more dangerous than the existing variants aleady spread through the country.

The BA2 Omicron variant is currently dominant in Thailand. It is highly contagious, more so than the BA1 variant.

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