Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
97.6% of the COVID-19 cases in Bangkok, randomly checked by the Medical Sciences Department, are the easily transmissible Delta variant while, in the provinces, the same variant accounts for 93% of the infections.
The department’s Director-General, Dr. Supakit Sirilak, said today (Monday) that 1,577 cases were tested last week and, of these, 1,417 were found to be the Delta variant, representing 93% of all the cases. There were 75 cases of the Alpha variant and 31 of the Beta strain.
He admitted that the Delta variant has become the dominant COVID strain, which has spread to every province in Thailand, while the Beta variant is confined to some southern provinces.
He assured the public that the South African C.1.2 variant and the Mu strain have not yet been detected in the country.
Dr. Supakit said that the World Health Organization has, so far, listed four COVID strains as viruses of concern, among them Delta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
He said, however, that health officials will continue to keep a close watch on the Beta and Gamma strains, as well as Mu, because they are resistant and evasive to vaccines, although they are not easily transmissible like the Delta variant.
For the next four months, Dr. Supakit said, the department will step up tests of virus strains, with 12,000 samples, including those taken from foreign arrivals, in cooperation with Chulalongkorn, Ramathibodi and Prince of Songkhla universities, to be taken from now until the end of the year, as part of the preventive measures against new variants.