11 July 2024

Eight cases of infection by the new coronavirus Omicron EG.5.1 variant, codenamed Aris, have been detected in Thailand. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently classified the variant as being “of interest”, which does not seem to pose more of a threat to the public than the other variants.

Dr. Wasun Chantratita, chief of the Centre for Medical Genomics at the Faculty of Medicines, Mahidol University, said, however, that the eight cases of Aris were detected in the past three months and the variant is capable of spreading about 1% faster than XBB.1.66, the current dominant variant.

He said that the public should be aware of the new variant, but there is no reason to panic, adding that the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea is, however, an indication that Thailand should be prepared, prompting the Centre for Medical Genomics to resume genome sequencing of coronavirus samples from patients.

According to the WHO’s report on Aris, dated July 27th, 593,023 infections, about a 60% increase over the previous 4 weeks, and 190 fatalities have been reported in South Korea in the past 28 days.

Aris infections in other countries are:

  • Brazil – 48,548 with 769 deaths
  • Australia – 35,873 with 623 deaths
  • Singapore -30,213
  • New Zealand – 20,329
  • Russia – 336 deaths
  • Peru – 218 deaths