Thailand sees uptick in cases
An increasing number of Covid-19 patients have been reported in Bangkok and other tourist destinations since the Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 has become dominant in Thailand, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).
Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the DDC, said there has been a surge in Covid-19 inpatients, patients with critical conditions and fatalities in Bangkok and its five adjacent provinces and tourist provinces in the East and the South.
The growing number of patients was preceded by social gatherings among Thai and international tourists across the country, he said.
"Those who have returned from abroad are advised to seek medical care if they have developed Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone who has not yet received a booster shot should avoid contact with people in vulnerable groups," said Dr Tares.
Moreover, Dr Tares said that the DDC had launched Covid-19 prevention guidelines that encourage people to receive a booster shot as the New Year holiday is approaching.
He recommended people visit vaccine distribution centres that provide Pfizer shots and long-acting antibodies (LAAB).
The DDC has assigned its allies to provide vaccine services regardless of whether advance appointments were made, he added.
Dr Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Department of Medical Science, said single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP/deletion) tests on 435 samples showed that the BA.2.75 subvariant is now by far the dominant strain, accounting for 75.9% of cases, an increase from 58.9% last week. Moreover, the number of domestic cases has risen from 60.1% to 75.4%, added Dr Supakit.
He explained that the former dominant subvariant, BA.5, was replaced as BA.2.75 has a key mutation in its spike proteins that ramps up its resistance to antibodies.