Thai virologist says Omicron may account for 30% of new COVID-19 cases

Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Professor Dr. Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, said today (Saturday) that he believes Omicron variant cases are being under-reported in every country, including Thailand, noting that the actual numbers may represent 30% of new COVID-19 infections in Thailand.

In his Facebook post today, he said that RT-PCR tests in Thailand do not examine the S gene in the virus, which means that they cannot detect the presence of the Omicron variant.

He said that reports of about 3,000 confirmed Omicron cases in Thailand do not reflect the real situation, as many cases were not tested using the required techniques.

The Thai Medical Sciences Department has employed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) techniques to detect the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Information Centre reported 8,263 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including 110 cases among inmates, and 14 more deaths.

Cumulative infections since April 1st last year are 2,232,176, with 21,709 deaths. 47,964 people are still being treated.


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