Thailand has reported its first domestic cluster of coronavirus infections from the Omicron variant in the northeastern Kalasin province and health authorities are trying to contain it.
Thailand’s total Omicron cases rose to 205, said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
Dr. Kiatiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for health, said the couple entered the country via the Test & Go scheme and they tested negative for COVID-19 both before entering the country and within 24 hours after arrival.
The case showed that infected arrivals could be in the window period while undergoing tests. Therefore, Thai returnees should not rush into meeting relatives or other people to prevent disease transmission during the window period, Dr. Kiatiphum said.
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said that the case proved the necessity to suspend the Test & Go entry program for the time being. The country needed to reconsider its entry programs to better control COVID-19.
He said that the Kalasin cluster covered 22 infected people and many high-risk others. It was the cluster of local infections which covered Kalasin and Udon Thani provinces and health officials were seriously investigating the timelines of people in the cluster.
Transmission risks in the cluster resulted from people sharing meals in poorly ventilated venues and talking to each other for a long time, Dr. Opas said. (TNA)