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After the fast-spreading B117 strain of Covid-19 was identified in four British nationals entering Thailand on December 21, the Ministry of Public Health will ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to postpone the entry of British visitors to the region.
Opas Karnkawinpong, chief of the Department of Disease Control, said on Sunday that all passengers on board the same flight as the four and everyone who had come into touch with them had been located, checked and found to be free of the virus.
Dr Opas advised the public not to worry because Thailand is familiar with the rapidly spreading strain of Covid-19—known as G-strain—found in migrant workers in Myanmar. "B117 is similar to the G-strain from Myanmar in terms of it being fast-spreading," Dr Opas said.
Family members — parents and two children — from Kent are the four English patients. Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, said they have been put in a hospital's negative pressure room to prevent transmission and will not be released until medical officials test and clear them of Covid-19 risk.
According to Dr Yong, one of the country's top virologists, the centre collected genetic data from Covid-19 patients for the study, who confirmed that the genetic variants found in the four patients were from the B117 strain that has recently spread rapidly in the UK.
On his Facebook page, Dr Yong wrote that Thais do not need to be alarmed, but warned that English tourists must pay more attention to the authority.
Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease, has been confirmed to be mutating regularly.
Source Bangkok Post