Thailand Reports First Case of Covid-19 Delta Plus Variant

Health officials have reported the first case of the Covid-19 Delta Plus variant in Thailand.

On Monday, Dr. Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Division of Disease Control and Emergency Health Hazards at Disease Control Department (DCD), revealed the finding and asked people not to be alarmed, as the disease is “being closely monitored”.

The Medical Sciences Department would hold a press conference to provide more information on the matter today, he stated.

The “Delta Plus” variant is a new mutated Covid-10 strain that may be more transmissible than the regular Delta, but there is no evidence that it can cause worse symptoms.

Over the past 28 days, Delta Plus cases in the UK have increased and now account for 6% of infections caused by other coronavirus variants, Dr. Chawetsan explained.

However, he urged Thais not to worry, stating that the World Health Organization has not rated Delta Plus as a strain of concern.

Figures on new Covid-19 infections in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces have started to decline, as has the nationwide case toll. But according to Dr. Chawetsan, cases in the southern areas continue rising and now account for 23% of all reported cases in Thailand.

Citing an analytical study that has tracked infections since April 1 of this year, Dr. Chawetsan said that funerals have contributed to increasing transmissions. He explained that people tend to socialize, eat, drink together using shared glasses, gamble and spend the night with the funeral hosts without wearing face masks or complying with social distancing measures.

Moreover, according to the latest government figures, authorities have detected various infection clusters among children and family members playing together in flooded areas, he said.

Dr. Chawetsan also spoke about vaccines, saying that 70,505,802 Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered across the kingdom from February 28 to October 24. It includes 39,999,692 to people who got their first shots, 28,372,531 to those who have been fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,133,579 to those who received a third booster dose.

Thailand has vaccinated 76.2% of its population so far, with 100% vaccinations in Bangkok, 82.7% in Phuket, 72.4% in Samut Prakan, and more than 50% in other provinces.