Thailand issues warning amid Omicron spread

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has issued a nationwide level 3 warning after 514 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected.

The level 3 warning refers to an appeal for public cooperation to implement strict Covid-19 free setting, more antigen rapid test kit (AKT) screening before and after travelling, avoid crowds, as well as issue work-from-home policy if possible, reports Xinhua news agency.

The warning is based on rising concerns over a possible surge in new cases after the holiday season which has seen a high level of people mobility, said Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department from the Ministry of Public Health.

Opas further noted that the Omicron variant can easily surge and is expected to take over Delta variant very soon.

There are five warning levels in Thailand, where the fifth one refers to curfew, strict mobility and public gathering control and quarantine scheme for all travellers.

According to the officials, the number of new Omicron cases has soared five-fold, from 104 on December 21 to currently at 514.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Public Health is still confident that the country still has sufficient hospital beds to handle the situation, citing its low 10 percent occupancy rate at present.

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