21 May 2024

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul revealed today (Friday) that 205 Omicron cases have been confirmed in the country to date, with the husband-wife couple in Kalasin province, who recently returned from Belgium, being the origin of the most worrying cluster.

The couple’s initial COVID-19 test results were negative and they travelled back to their hometown, before visiting their children in Udon Thani. Relatives who came in close contact with the couple subsequently tested positive for the Omicron variant, which is thought to have come from the couple.

Based on the investigation, 22 people were in close contact them, including 19 restaurant staff and 3 members of the family. Another 100 people are also at risk.

Meanwhile, in the case of an Israeli tourist who escaped from an “alternative” quarantine facility in Bangkok and initially tested positive for the Omicron variant before testing negative once he appeared to have recovered, Anutin said that the Health Service Support Department will investigate whether the hotel being used as the facility had been lax in enforcing the required measures, which allowed for the escape of the tourist.

As to rumours that another lockdown will be imposed in the New Year, Anutin confirmed that there will not be a lockdown. Some areas have, however, already cancelled their New Year events. He urged provincial health offices to monitor the countdown celebrations and to make sure that such events comply strictly with the required anti-COVID measures, otherwise offices can order the cancellation of the event.