11 July 2024

A Thai gem trader has been found to be infected with the South African strain of COVID-19, the first such case in Thailand, said Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, on Sunday.

He disclosed that the 41-year old worked in Tanzania for about two months and, on January 29th, he travelled to Ethiopia before flying back to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport and entering state quarantine.

On February 3rd, he tested positive for COVID-19 and, because he had travelled to an African country before returning to Thailand, more tests were conducted and it was determined that he was infected with the South African variant of the virus.

Dr. Opas assured that no medical personnel in contact with the infected man are infected, because they protected themselves and wore full PPE.

For those who arrive in Thailand from countries where the South African strain of COVID-19 is spreading, Dr. Opas said that a rapid screening process will be applied. This means fluid samples will be collected from the arrivals immediately, analyzed and, based on the results, the arriving passenger is sent to hospital.

The COVID-19 variant currently spreading in Thailand is the G strain, which does not develop severe symptoms but it is easily transmittable.