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Thailand’s Government Tells Public Stop Panicking Over Omicron



Public Told Not Panic Over New Omicron Coronavirus Variant

As a result of Thailand’s first Omicron Coronavirus variant infection, the Thai government and business leaders urge people not to panic. Several economists warn that a lockdown will be disastrous for the struggling economy.

According to Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, there is no need for the public to panic over the new strain. Saying lockdowns would damage the Thai economy, which is just beginning to show signs of recovery.

The solution is not a lockdown. We must find a way to coexist [with the virus], he said, noting that new cases are declining and that hospital admissions consistently outnumber recoveries.

“Things are looking up. While visiting Phuket recently, I heard from local residents that things are improving,” he said. “This means we are on the right track. People shouldn’t panic, otherwise, the economy will collapse.”

In agreement with Mr Supant, the chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Sanan Angubolkul, criticized Thailand’s resumption of lockdowns as harming its international image.

Thailand Reacts to its first Case of Omicron Coronavirus Variant

Thailand Reacts to its first Case of Omicron Coronavirus Variant

Read: Health Officials Detect First Omicron Variant Case in Thailand

Thailand had just lifted its lockdown, so [tourists from] foreign countries would be scared off, he said, adding Thais are “experienced” in protecting against the disease.

Do not worry too much. However, the 10 million Thais who have not been vaccinated should be vaccinated as soon as possible, he advised.

After testing confirmed that a Thai-American businessman who tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving from Spain was infected with the heavily mutated variant, Thailand confirmed its first Omicron infection on Monday.

RT-PCR tests confirmed the 35-year-old was infected with the Omicron variant according to DMS director-general Supakit Sirilak.

On Nov 28, the US citizen underwent RT-PCR testing in Spain, which came back negative for Covid-19, according to the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong. On Nov 30, Dr Opas said, he left for Thailand after transiting for nine hours in Dubai.

Dr Opas noted that the man was inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to flying on Emirates flight EK372 from Dubai to Suvarnabhumi airport.

Zero deaths linked to Omicron variant

The RT-PCR test, which Dr Opas said was taken as soon as the patient landed, showed that he was infected with Covid-19. More tests are being conducted by the DMS, while the man is currently being treated in a hospital, said the director-general of DDC.

Despite the fact that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than other variants, most patients infected with the new strain show no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.

Dr Opas said most Omicron cases found in other countries did not require hospitalization and that no deaths have been reported yet from the new variant.

According to Dr Supakit, the government should not replace RT-PCR testing with rapid antigen testing as more tourists are expected to arrive in Thailand. “If there is one case, there will be another and another,” he said.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a government spokesman, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is confident in the screening system for visitors and the health system’s ability to fight the pandemic.

The spokesman said the prime minister and health experts are working closely to monitor the situation. The current policies and actions of the government regarding Covid-19 have not changed, Mr Thanakorn added.

The spokesman said that any changes will have to be discussed at the next meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.


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