Omicron numbers may be far higher, says virologist
The number of Omicron infections detected may be far lower than the reality, an expert virologist said on Saturday.
In a Facebook post, Dr Yong Poovorawan explained that lab tests in most countries assume the presence of the Omicron variant when the S-gene is not detected. The Omicron variant apparently masks the S-gene.
However, in Thailand, the entire genome sequencing is studied not just the presence of the S gene, which is why more Omicron patients have been detected here.
In fact, he said, since many patients are asymptomatic, Thailand probably has more than 3,000 Omicron cases.
This may also be true of nearly every other country, Yong added.
He said the best way of working out an accurate average will be to check Covid-19 samples randomly to work out a percentage of Omicron and Delta infections. He added that he expects Omicron to account for 30 per cent of total infections.