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Tracking the spread of Omicron variant


The B.1.1.529 variant was found in South Africa from a sample collected on November 9 and was reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on November 24.

WHO named it Omicron and marked it a “variant of concern”.

Infections from this variant have been found in several countries, and many nations have banned flights from some destinations.

So far, Omicron cases have been found in 16 countries, though South Africa tops the list with 77.

Country by country

The Omicron variant has been detected in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom.

 

Tracking the spread of Omicron variant

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The latest Omicron infection was found in Germany. The patient is a 39-year-old Leipzig resident and is the first German national to be infected with Omicron. Three foreigners in the country had tested positive for Omicron earlier.

Surprisingly, the Leipzig patient had reportedly not travelled recently, and nor had he come in contact with anyone.

Steps Thailand is taking

So far, no Omicron cases have been found in Thailand. The Department of Disease Control revealed that 1,007 people from 12 countries in southern Africa had arrived in Thailand between November 1 and 27 via the Phuket sandbox scheme. They all tested negative for Covid-19 after completing their 14 days in quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has banned flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from December 1.

Passengers who arrive before the December 1 deadline will be required to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

As for concerns about the efficiency of antigen test kits, the Department of Medical Sciences director-general Suphakit Sirilak said a brief analysis shows that there is no change in the protein that will result in a false result.

Published : November 30, 2021

By : THE NATION