An influential Thai virologist said new Covid-19 strains from tourists traveling from the West are more worrisome than older strains from tourists traveling from China.
Dr. Yong Poovorawan came out today, January 6th, to allay Thai people’s concerns over a surge in Covid-19 infections in light of China’s upcoming easing of travel restrictions from January 8th onwards.
Dr. Yong, who is the chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, posted on his Facebook wall that, “The ongoing outbreak in China is primarily caused by the Omicron subvariant of Covid-19, known as BA.5, which has already spread in Thailand.”
He went on to say that, “We should be more concerned about the strains that have not spread in Thailand, especially the BQ variant from Western countries which is more alarming.” The doctor also commented on certain tourists that, “We do not check and cannot force (them) to wear face masks.”
Covid-19 cases in Thailand are declining in Thailand due to seasonal transition, according to Dr. Yong. 70% of Thai people (around 50 million) have been infected with the coronavirus, and 90% already have antibodies from vaccination or infection.
He said, “The mutation of the virus can occur anywhere in the world…It is pointless to block tourists from a particular country from entering the kingdom.”
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