Thailand Medical Experts Issue Warning As COVID-19 Cases Increase By 39% In Last 7 Days. About 59 Different XBB Sublineages Found In Circulation!
experts are sounding the alarms as COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the country.
Recent Election Rallies Where Many Were Maskless!
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Health officials from the Department of Disease Control (DDC) issued a public warning yesterday via various media outlets, alerting locals to the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 infections and urging them to take necessary precautions to protect themselves.
Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the DDC, told media that there were 2,356 COVID-19 inpatients last week, marking a 39% increase from the previous week.
He also said that the number of patients suffering from lung inflammation and requiring ventilators rose by approximately 45%. At the same time COVID-19 deaths are at the moment doubling on a weekly basis.
According to Thailand Medical
experts working at the DDC, of the total patients who died from COVID-19, it was said that about 55% of them were those from the vulnerable groups ie the aged, the obese, the immunocompromised and those having existing comorbidities such as diabetes hypertension, heart issues etc. Many unvaccinated were also among those that died.
Dr Tares stated that the remaining 45% who had died from COVID-19 were those whose SARS-CoV-2 antibody count had significantly dropped after being vaccinated or infected more than six months ago.
Dr Tares recommended that locals and expats receive both COVID-19 and influenza vaccines simultaneously to minimize the risk of severe illness from both diseases as there also seems to be a rise in influenza infections as well.
Interestingly, according to data from the COV-Spectrum platform, there are more than 59 different types of XBB sub-lineages in circulation in the country including the newer spawns of some of the more worrisome XBB variants.
The XBB.1.16 variant is still the predominant variant but it only constitutes about 22.54% of all sequences so far.
It is followed by the XBB.15 variant (10.88%), the XBB.1.9.1 variant (9.33%). A new spawn of the XBB.1.9.1 called FL.4 aka XBB.18.104.22.168 seems to be exhibiting growth potential and now constitutes about 8.03% of all recent sequences from the country.
Numerous other new concerning XBB sub-lineages were also found among the 59 or more sub-lineages currently circulating in the country including XBB.2.3.
6 sub-lineage, GA.1 sub-lineage etc.
In a separate development, the current Prime Minister in the caretaker government has asked the Ministry of Education and also the Ministry of Public Health to ensure that COVID-19 measures are introduced in all schools once again to prevent the spread of the virus. Preventive measures including masking are being introduced in all schools and also educational institutions.
Most schools and educational institutions in Thailand started their new academic semester last week and amidst the growing number of COVID-19 infections in the country. Both educational and health officials are worried that students could end up spreading the virus especially to the elderly and the vulnerable.
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