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Omicron Variant Fears Change Many People New Year Plans



Omicron Variant Fears Change Many People New Year Plans

Many people will stay home for New Year due to Covid-19, according to an opinion survey conducted recently. However, many surveyed still expect a more festive atmosphere than last year despite fears over the Omicron variant.

An online survey of 1,117 respondents nationwide, aged 18 and older and with varying levels of education, was conducted over the telephone from Dec 17-21.

The majority of respondents, 55.2%, believed this year’s festivities would be more festive than last year.

When asked if they were planning to travel during the New Year holiday, 51.5% said they preferred to be at home due to news of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, and 48.5% said they were going to do so.

There were 23.5% who planned to travel to a temple for New Year’s Eve praying or merit-making, 12.6% to visit family, 9.2% to visit another province, 3.4% to watch a countdown, and 0.2% to travel abroad.

According to the survey, respondents gave many different reasons why Covid-19 outbreaks of Omicron could occur during the New Year, including 86.2% saying New Year celebrations at bars and pubs.

72.1% of businesses not adhering to disease prevention measures, 71.1% of venues hosting countdown events, 70.3% government failed to fulfil recommendations recommended by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, and 66.4% parties and other celebration events.

According to the director-general of medical sciences, there are now 739 confirmed Omicron cases, with 34% being community infections. According to Dr Supakit Sirilak, accumulated Omicron cases included 488 arrivals from overseas and 251 infections locally.

Infections by Omicron were on the rise, but he said face masks, social distance, and handwashing were still effective in preventing infection by all strains of Covid-19.

On Sunday, 514 cases of Omicron were reported in the country.

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