6 June 2024

The first case of the Indian COVID-19 variant, or B.1.617.1, has been found in Thailand, in a Thai family returning from Pakistan and in state quarantine, according to CCSA assistant spokesperson Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan.

The case involves a 42-year old pregnant Thai woman, who returned to Thailand from Pakistan on April 24th with three sons, aged 4, 6 and 8, with a stopover in Dubai.  All entered state quarantine in a hotel. The woman stayed in one room with the youngest son while the two others were in a separate room.

On April 26th, all were given COVID-19 tests, which returnedpositive results for the woman and her 4-year old son, while the two other boys were cleared of the disease.

Dr. Apisamai said that genome tests, conducted by the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Centre,have confirmed that the Thai woman and her 4-year son are infected with the B.1.617.1 Indian variant, which has been spreading in India since last October and has since expanded to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, the UK, Germany, the US, Japan, Malaysia and Bahrain.

She added that the Medical Science Department, the Disease Control Department and all medical colleges have been placed on alert for the Indian variant, which may develop mutations in Thailand.

The CCSA assistant spokesperson said that the Thai Foreign Ministry has, since May 1st, been limiting arrivals from India.

74 Thais, including 20 women and 54 men, arrived from India on May 8th. 38 of them are in state quarantine and 36 are in alternative quarantine facilities.

Two more groups are scheduled to arrive from India on May 15thand May 22nd on four flights.

Dr. Apisamai said that health officials are also concerned aboutillegal arrivals from neighbouring countries, such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia and Laos, adding that a total of 1,126 illegal migrants have been arrested since May 1st.