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Governors Ordered to Step Up Efforts to Fight Omicron BA 2

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Governors Ordered to Step Up Efforts to Fight Omicron BA 2

Thailand’s top Interior Ministry official has ordered the country’s governors to increase measures against the Omicron BA 2 virus as it surges throughout the country.

On Sunday, Sutthipong Chucharoen, the permanent secretary for interior affairs, directed all provincial governors to raise their guard against Omicron BA 2.

In the directive, he said officials at all levels must join forces to closely monitor the situation in their provinces, especially those bordering neighbouring countries. The governors need to have contingency plans in case Omicron cases explode in their provinces.

The order from the Interior Ministry was issued after new Omicron BA 2 case transmissions rose for the sixth consecutive day.

From Jan 1 to Feb 13, the country recorded 360,380 local infections, or about 8,000 a day. However, the number of Omicron cases has risen sharply since then.

They have accelerated from the 14,177 announced on Monday to 18,953 as of Sunday’s bulletin.

Omicron BA.2 cases expected to increase

On Sunday, Chulalongkorn University’s Dr. Yong Poovorawan posted a Facebook message warning that Omicron cases in Thailand and other southeast Asian countries had not reached their peak.

Experts predicted that cases in Thailand would peak between 30,000 and 50,000 a day.

Thailand’s Department of Medical Sciences reports there are signs that Omicron BA 2 spreads faster than BA.1 but there hasn’t been any significant difference from BA.1 when it comes to severity or vaccine avoidance.

Omicron BA.2 was first recorded in Thailand among tourists in January 2022. Today there are rare cases of the Delta Variant of Covid-19 in the country.

Omicron is already a prevalent variant of Covid-19 in the world, and booster vaccine shots could prevent infection, severe illness, and fatality caused by BA 2

As of yet, it is not known whether the subvariant causes more severe symptoms or illness. However, there is no evidence that it does.
 
Omicron BA.2 is more contagious than the BA.1 strain, which had already been the most transmissible variant to date.

Here’s what is known about Omicron BA 2:

  • Omicron BA 2 patients have been reported to experience fever and body aches.
  • The level of SpO2 drops as well in severe cases.
  • Taste loss is one of the symptoms of Omicron BA 2.
  • It is not expected to cause significant impairment in people ages 20-50.
  • Delta and Omicron cases are rapidly being eclipsed by BA 2 variants.
  • The symptoms of a BA2 variant are similar to those of Omicron.

According to Dr. Manoon Leechawengwongs, a pulmonary disease expert at Vichaiyut Hospital, even though 70% of the Thai population has been vaccinated, it is possible for anyone to get infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The good news is that over 90% of infected people will only develop mild or asymptomatic symptoms, while severe cases will decrease. Despite high daily infection numbers, Omicron will not undermine Thailand’s public health system, Dr. Manoon says.

According to Dr. Manoon, the government needs to pay more attention to the economic aspects of health care.

According to him, Omicron will be the last outbreak of the pandemic after most of humanity is infected, leading to herd immunity.

He explained that a new variant that will replace Omicron must have a faster transmission rate. Omicron is currently the fastest-spreading virus in human history.

Furthermore, it must be able to escape the human immune system.

Despite the emergence of the Omicron subvariant BA 2, which is less severe than BA 1, he said it is still harmful to children under five years of age, senior citizens and those with chronic diseases.

In Thailand, the vaccination coverage has not yet reached 80% of the population, according to Dr. Pichit. Since many people still congregate in crowded places, it is necessary to maintain the current Covid-19 measures, like wearing protective masks and avoiding social contact.

In addition, he expressed concern over those patients who have recovered but have developed the long-covid syndrome.

By Geoff Thomas

 

 

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