After wreaking havoc overseas, the highly-contagious UK variant of COVID-19 that has entered Thailand has triggered alarm. Recent evidence shows that the UK variant is 1.7 more contagious and deadlier than other strains.
Researchers believe the new UK variant is also responsible for a higher mortality rate and its appearing in Thailand.
Dr Yong Poovorawan, a renowned virologist at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, said the UK variant may have arrived in Thailand via Cambodia, judging by similarities in genetics and infection spikes in the two countries.
Thailand is the 42nd country to have reported an outbreak caused by the UK variant.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Saturday that there were 8 new covid-19 deaths and a record 2,839 new cases. Furthermore 1,582 of them in Bangkok, were reported on Saturday, bringing the totals to 129 deaths and 53,022 cases.
The current outbreak since April 1 has now infected 26,998 people and killed 43.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the 8 deaths were six men and two women.
The 8 news deaths from covid
The 122nd death was an obese Thai man, 48, in Samut Prakan. He had visited an entertainment venue in the Srinakarin area. On April 12, he had a fever, sore throat and diarrhoea. On April 18, he tested positive and had pneumonia. He died on Thursday.
The 123rd death was a Thai woman, 83, in Bangkok. She had diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol and was in contact with a confirmed case. On April 14, she had a fever and fatigue. Four days later she tested positive. She died on Thursday.
The 124th death was a Thai man, 89, in Bangkok. He was a bed-ridden patient with colon cancer in contact with a confirmed case. On Thursday, he had a cough, a fever and breathing difficulties. He tested positive the next day and died on the same day.
The 125th death was a Thai man, 63, in Bangkok. He had high blood pressure and gout and was in contact with a confirmed case. On April 11, he had a fever. On Thursday, he tested positive. He died the next day.
The 126th death was a Thai man, 68, in Chachoengsao. He had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiac arrhythmia. He was in contact with a confirmed case. On April 10, he had a fever and tested positive the next day. He died on Thursday.
The 127th death was a Thai woman, 82, in Samut Prakan. She had cervical cancer and was in contact with a confirmed case. On April 14, she tested positive. She died on Tuesday.
The 128th death was a Thai man, 75, in Nakhon Sawan. He had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and benign prostatic hyperplasia. He was in contact with a confirmed case. On April 9, he had a cough and a fever. He tested positive on April 11 and died on Thursday.
The 129th death was a Thai man, 62, in Nonthaburi who had a chronic kidney disease. He had visited an entertainment venue. On April 18, he had fatigue. On Wednesday, he tested positive. He died on Friday.
Bangkok logs most covid cases
Meanwhile, of the 2,839 new cases over the past 24 hours, 2,827 were local infections and 12 were imported. Of the local cases, 2,523 were confirmed in hospitals and 304 were found through active case finding.
The 12 imported cases were quarantined arrivals from India (7), the United Arab Emirates (2), Bahrain (1), Oman (1) and the United States (1). They were five Thai women and seven Indian men.
Total cases are now 53,022, of which 30,566 (57.6%) had recovered, including 377 discharged on Friday, and 22,327 were in hospital. Of the infected patients, 418 were critical, with 113 on ventilators.
Bangkok logged the highest number of new infections at 1,582 cases. Nine other provinces with high infections were Chiang Mai (151), Chon Buri (119), Nonthaburi (96), Samut Prakan (84), Pathum Thani (59), Samut Sakhon (57), Surat Thani (46), Nakhon Sawan (38) and Songkhla (34).
Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 896,922 in the past 24 hours to 146.22 million. The worldwide death toll went up by 14,218 to 3.09 million.
Source: Bangkok Post, CTN News