• The Delta (Indian) variant of COVID-19 has spread to 11 provinces in Thailand, with 348 people found to be infected to date, including 318 cases in Bangkok alone, according to Dr. Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Thai Medical Sciences Department.
• He said today (Thursday) that random tests on 4,185 samples from infected people, taken between April and yesterday, found 3,703 cases of the Alpha (UK) variant (88.48%) and 348 Delta cases (8.32%).
• The Delta variant cases include 318 in Bangkok, 17 in Udon Thani, 2 each in Saraburi, Nonthaburi, Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum and 1 each in Phitsanuloke, Roi-et, Ubon Ratchathani, Buri Ram and Samut Sakhon.
• The tests were jointly undertaken by the Medical Sciences Department and a network of laboratories at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi hospital and Prince of Songkhla University.
• The tests also found 98 cases of the original B.1 (dade G), B.1 (dade GH), B.1.1.1 (dade GR) strains, accounting for 2.34%, 26 cases of the Beta (South African) variant, accounting for 0.62%and 10 cases of B.1.524 variant, accounting for 0.24%.
• Citing reports from Public Health England and the World Health Organization, Dr. Supakit said that the Alpha variant is easily transmissible and has caused more infections and deaths than the original strains, but the available vaccines are effective against it.
• He said the Delta variant can spread faster than the Alpha strain, but there have been no confirmations that the latter is more dangerous, while the Beta (South African) strain, though spreading much slower, causes more sickness and deaths than the original strains adding, however, that the vaccines available are effective on the Alpha and Delta strains.
• Dr. Supakit said that the stringent surveillance of the spread of different variants of COVID-19 by laboratories will be helpful in the containment of the contagion.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)