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DDC confirms Covid-19 variant found in India responds to AstraZeneca vaccine


The Covid-19 strain that emerged in India, and was detected among workers at an Italian-Thai Development construction camp in Bangkok’s Lak Si area, does not resist the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Department of Disease Control has clarified.

On Friday, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration had revealed that B.1617.2, the strain of the Covid-19 virus that emerged in India, was found among 15 infected workers at the camp, which has become a cluster after 1,060 of 1,667 workers living there tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Later that day, the Department of Medical Science found 36 more infections with the strain seen in India in 80 positive samples they had collected from the site, while the rest are B.1.1.7, the strain that first emerged in the UK.

“The 15 patients that we found infected with the virus strain found in India earlier on Friday included seven males and eight females, with average age of 46 years. Of these, 12 people were workers at Lak Si camp, while the other three were their family members,” DDC director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said.

“They have been treated at hospitals with minor symptoms.”

Opas also cited information from Public Health England that the variant of Covid-19 that emerged in India spread in the same pattern as the strain in the UK, but there was no evidence of more severe symptoms or higher death rate.

“The Indian strain of the virus responds to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is the one that Thailand aims to use as the main vaccine,” he added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 10 had temporarily revoked the COE [certificate of entry] for foreigners from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to curb the spread of the strain in India, after the first patient with the variant seen in Thailand was a Thai woman aged 42 years who had travelled back from Pakistan along with her three sons. The woman was also 25 weeks pregnant.

Published : May 22, 2021

By : THE NATION