Thailand finds first local cases of Indian coronavirus variant

Bangkok, Thailand | Mon, May 24, 2021

The first community-acquired cases of the highly contagious Indian strain of the novel coronavirus have been identified among 15 employees at a construction site in Bangkok, according to Thai health officials.

According to Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, several staff at the site in the Laksi district of northern Bangkok were found to be contaminated with the coronavirus, mainly the ordinary type.

They’ve been admitted to hospitals as health officials and investigators work to contain the outbreak, which includes halting construction on the site and closing off the workers’ camp, preventing entry and exit.

Thailand registered the first cases of the Indian variant on May 10, after a Thai woman and her young son traveled from Pakistan. Last October, the variant was discovered for the first time in India, before spreading to other South Asian countries including Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam have all detected it in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the Thai government extended its state of emergency, which was due to expire at the end of the month, until July 31 to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Since the emergency decree was first issued in March of last year, twelve extensions have been granted. People have been told to remain at home and stop meeting in groups as a result of the decree. Thailand announced 3,481 new COVID-19 cases and 32 new deaths on Friday, taking the total number of cases to 123,066 with 735 deaths.

The new wave of infections, which started in early April, has resulted in 94,203 cases. With 35 clusters in 23 districts, Bangkok remains the epicenter of infections.

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