Songkhla woman, 86, Thailand’s first known Omicron death

Photo: Public Health and Environmental Division of Hat Yai Municipality
Photo: Public Health and Environmental Division of Hat Yai Municipality

A month after the kingdom detected its first case of the Omicron variant, the country confirmed its first fatality from the incredibly contagious strain. 

The 86-year-old woman living in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district had been bedridden and suffering from Alzheimer’s when she died Sunday, according to provincial health officials.  She had been infected by her grandson upon his return from Phuket, they added. The had received two shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 

She first tested positive on Jan. 7 and was admitted to the Hat Yai Hospital. She had difficulty breathing and a fever of 38.5C. She died at the hospital this past Wednesday and lab results confirming she had been infected with Omicron came back several days later.

While the mutation now burning across Thailand does seem to make people less sick, hospital beds continue to fill at an alarming rate, straining the health system. More than 80,500 people are now undergoing treatment for the disease, up from 33,000 on Jan. 1.

There were 8,077 new COVID-19 cases reported Sunday, though that number is likely vastly undercounted.


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