Omicron variant: Thailand considers rescinding plans to use Rapid Antigen Tests

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, Nov 29 (Bernama): As more countries detected the newly identified Omicron Covid-19 variant and imposed new travel curbs to prevent the spread of the highly infectious strain, Thailand is considering rescinding its plans to use the Rapid Antigen Test for on-arrival screening.

"The RT-PCR test may continue to be used. However, we will further assess the situation,” said Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan at Covid-19 daily briefing, here, today.

On Friday, Thailand approved a plan to deploy Rapid Antigen Tests for fully vaccinated travellers to expedite the entry process in bid to boost its tourism sector.

Under the new arrangement, fully vaccinated travellers from Covid-19 low-risk countries and territories entering the kingdom via "Test & Go” entry scheme only need to book for transportation (from airport to hotel) and conduct antigen test at a Safety & Health Administration (SHA) Plus certified hotel.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Satit Pitutecha said no cases of the Omicron variant was detected in Thailand.

Dr Satit has ordered agencies under the Department of Medical Sciences to step up surveillance to ensure the new variant can be detected quickly.

"However, the variant may be brought in through natural channels and across borders with neighbouring countries, so be on alert,” he said as quoted by The Nation.

On Saturday, Thailand joined the growing number of countries that has banned travellers from eight African countries following the discovery of the Omicron variant.

Over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 4,753 new Covid-19 cases and 27 fatalities - the lowest number of cases and deaths in five months.

To date, Thailand recorded 2,111,566 Covid-19 cases and 20,734 deaths. - Bernama

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