Health officials have reported that the deadly variant of covid-19 that has been plaguing India has arrived in Thailand. The Indian variant of Covid-19 was detected in a Thai woman and her young son arriving from Pakistan.
The arrival of the Indian variant of Covid-19 has prompted authorities to consider widening the ban on international arrivals to other countries besides India.
Apisamai Srirangson, the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Monday the Thai woman and her three sons, aged four, six and eight, arrived in Thailand from Pakistan.
All were in a state-arranged quarantine facility after the arrival and the first tests found the mother and her youngest son tested positive for the Indian variant of Covid-19. Her other children were not infected.
A whole genome sequencing test conducted at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Sunday confirmed the Indian variant of Covid-19 virus named B.1.617.1. was detected on them.
“This is the first detection of the Indian variant of Covid-19 B.1.617.1. virus in the Kingdom,” Dr Apisamai said.
The B.1.617.1 variant was recorded for the first time in India in October before spreading to other countries.
Indian variant of Covid-19 spreading
Dr Apisamai said authorities were worried by the arrival of this version of the virus and the new danger it poses. “There is concern about this variant and about the possibility that it could mutate in Thailand,” she added.
Thailand has barred foreign arrivals from India since the beginning of this month due to worries about the Indian variant. The Thai embassy in India does not issue certificates of entry (COE) to any non-Thai nationals, effectively meaning they cannot travel to the kingdom.
The assistant spokeswoman said the Foreign Ministry and Department of Disease Control were on Monday holding discussions about halting the issuance of the entry permit in other countries to try to keep the Indian variant of Covid-19 out of Thailand.
She did not name the countries but said the variant had been recorded in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
“There is a possibility of delaying COEs in other countries,” she added.
Source: Bangkok Post