More than half of all Covid cases sub-variants
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More than half of all Covid cases sub-variants

The Department of Medical Services says that more than half of all Covid-19 infections in Thailand are now the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants. The department also forecasts the number of infections may rise to 30,000 a day.

Dr Natthaphong Wongwiwat, deputy director-general of the department, yesterday said a projected 20,000 to 30,000 new infections per day is based on cases confirmed by RT-PCR and antigen testing, he said.

A total of 5,407 cases were reported yesterday, according to figures published by the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

The number of patients suffering from severe Covid-19 was about 1,000, slightly higher than previously, he said.

Dr Natthaphong said although the number of new infections rose, the number of severe Covid-19 cases wasn't very high and only a small number required treatment in hospital.

As to the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, they are now are responsible for about half of all new infections in the country, most of which were found in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, he said.

The sub-variants are expected to take between two weeks and one month to become the predominate infection type in the country, eventually accounting for about 90% of all cases.

Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, chief of the Thai Red Cross's Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Centre, meanwhile urged the Ministry of Public Health to switch back to reporting the actual number of new Covid-19 infections daily instead of reporting only the number of infected patients who require hospitalisation.

"No one isn't going to blame the ministry if the actual number becomes tens of thousands or even 100,000 a day as that is what's happening around the world," he said. "The benefit of reporting the actual number of infections is the public will be well informed about the real situation and be careful."

On Friday Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the average number of new Covid-19 cases per day reported by the DDC was currently 29,000.

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