Delta variant now accounts for nearly 10 per cent of Bangkok infections

A health worker manages as people wait to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Thai-Japan Bangkok Youth Center in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 14, 2021. - AP

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): A total of 496 cases of Covid-19’s Delta variant were detected in Thailand from April 7 to June 13, the Department of Medical Sciences revealed on Wednesday (June 16).

Bangkok is the epicentre of the Delta outbreak with 404 cases, said the department’s director-general Dr Supakit Sirilak. Ten of these cases were found in 3 or 4 hospitals in the centre of the city, he added.

The Delta strain now accounts for 9.8 per cent of all infections in the capital.

Another 28 Delta cases were recently found in Pathum Thani, 8 in Nakhon Nayok, 3 in Sakon Nakhon, 2 in Phayao, 2 in Ubon Ratchathani, and one apiece in Chiang Rai, Phetchabun, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Loei and Buri Ram.

However, the Alpha variant first found in the UK is still the dominant strain of Covid-19 in Thailand.

Of the 5, 055 Covid-19 samples tested since April 7, 4, 528 or 89.6 per cent were Alpha.

Local cases of the Beta variant (South Africa) remain confined to Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district, which has added two more Beta infections to the 26 recorded earlier. Three other Beta cases were recently detected in a Samut Prakan state quarantine centre.

“The Delta strain is 40 per cent more infectious than the Alpha and requires close monitoring week by week, ” said Supakit.

He warned that Delta could account for half of all Thai cases in 2-3 months if the epidemic was not controlled. He added that Bangkok – especially a Laksi construction camp – had been linked with outbreaks of Delta in other provinces.

Meanwhile, the Department of Science reports that its study of 200 people inoculated with two doses of Sinovac vaccine shows it offers 100 per cent protection against the original virus but only 50-60 per cent against the Alpha variant. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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