Thailand detects 1st case of Delta Plus in Ayutthaya

A new worrying strain of the coronavirus was found in a man in Ayutthaya province, health officials announced yesterday. 

Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Health Hazard and Disease Control Division, confirmed that a 49-year-old man working in Ayutthaya’s Bang Sai district was found last month to have been infected with the so-called Delta-Plus mutation, the first known case in the country. The man, who had no history of traveling abroad or contact with any risk groups, has fully recovered, Chawetson said. 

No reason was given why health officials waited until Monday to announce the news. A news conference is planned for later today with further details. Thailand is hurtling toward a hastily announced plan to reopen the country to vaccinated travelers from dozens of “low risk” countries starting Monday.

Delta Plus – the AY.4.2 variant, more formally – emerged in the United Kingdom, where it now accounts for over 6% of new cases. While not much is known yet about it, experts believe it is more transmissible and therefore spreads more easily than the dominant Delta variant.

Chawetsan said a sample taken from the unidentified Ayutthaya man was sent to the Armed Forces Research Institute Medical Science for genetic sequencing.

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