22 May 2024

Senior Thai virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan said today (Tuesday) that the Omicron variant is becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Thailand faster than predicted, overtaking Delta.

Dr. Yong, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, said that, during the first few days after the New Year, most of the Omicron cases were being found among foreign arrivals in Bangkok but, since January 5th, most of the cases have been locally acquired and, since January 10th, the centre has stopped testing foreign arrivals because all the cases infected with Omicron are locally acquired infections.

Dr. Yong Poovorawan

The findings show that the variant is spreading rapidly and will surpass Delta as the dominant variant before the end of January as initially anticipated, he said.

Compared with Omicron, he noted that Delta took longer to supersede Alpha as the dominant strain in Thailand.

According to the CCSA yesterday, the Omicron variant represented 70.3% of random samplings of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed between January 2nd and January 8th.

Today, the COVID-19 Information Centre reported that 7,133 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, including 411 foreign arrivals. The death toll was 12.  The number of people undergoing treatment has increased to 61,974.