Thailand’s Disease Control Department has not yet found a single case of the South African C.1.2 variant of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
Director of the Emergency Health Hazard and Disease Control Division Dr. Chawetsan Namwat said today (Tuesday) that Thailand has always been on the lookout for new COVID-19 variants and, if there are reports of new strains in any country, health officials will test all arrivals from those countries as well as conduct random tests across this country.
He said that about 500 samples of the genetic makeup of the virus’s variants are tested each week by the Medical Sciences Department and, so far, no South African C.1.2 variant has been found here, although it has been detected in China and the UK, as well as South Africa.
About 93% of COVID-19 infections in Thailand are by the Delta variant, said Dr. Chawetsan, adding that it is premature to forecast that the new variant is more severe or can spread faster than the other strains.
The C.1.2 variant was first identified in May in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng. By August 13th, it had been found in six South African provinces, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Portugal, New Zealand and Switzerland.
The mutations of the virus are associated with increased transmissibility and an increased ability to evade antibodies, according to scientists in South Africa.