Thailand detects first case of Omicron variant


A waitress waits for a customer at a restaurant in Khaosan Road, one of the favorite tourist spots, as Thailand bans entry to eight African countries due to the Omicron coronavirus variant, in Bangkok, Thailand, November 30, 2021 REUTERS / Chalinee Thirasupa

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  • Omicron found in an American from Spain and Thailand
  • Spain says its detection system is effective
  • Man’s symptoms are mild, Thai official says
  • Thailand is the 47th country to have found an official variant

BANGKOK, Dec.6 (Reuters) – Thailand detected its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in a U.S. citizen who traveled to the country from Spain late last month, an official said on Monday. health.

The confirmed human case, which arrived on November 29, makes Thailand the 47th country to find the new variant, Opas Karnkawinpong, director general of the Department of Disease Control, told a press conference.

“This first confirmed case of the Omicron variant is a 35-year-old man who is a US citizen who has lived in Spain for a year,” Opas said, adding that the patient was exhibiting mild symptoms.

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Opas said health authorities were performing further testing on people who had come in contact with the man, but said all contacts so far were low risk.

A spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Health declined to comment on the case, but added: “Our detection system has so far been successful. We have detected five cases in Spain.”

In early December, Thailand banned travelers from eight African countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, over concerns over the Omicron variant. Read more

Opas said authorities have also restricted travel from other African countries and are monitoring international travelers for more potential cases.

Thailand reported 4,000 new coronavirus infections and 22 new deaths on Monday, bringing the total to more than 2.1 million cases and 20,966 deaths since the pandemic began last year.

More than 57% of people in Thailand have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

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Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um Editing by Ed Davies and Philippa Fletcher

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