New Covid-19 variant Omicron is gaining pace worldwide as nations in different regions report infections daily, including Latvia, Thailand, Nepal, and Japan.
The Department of Disease Control, Thai Ministry of Public Health, reported the first infection with the new variant in a vaccinated individual. “Infection with the Omicron strain was detected in a 35-year-old American citizen vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in June, who arrived in Thailand from Spain on November 30 under the quarantine-free Test&Go programme,” Opas Karnkawinpong, chief of the department, said on Monday.
Upon his departure from Spain on November 28, the carrier tested negative for Covid-19. He then made a transfer in Dubai, where he spent nine hours, and was hospitalised after testing positive for the disease in Thailand. The patient’s condition is stable and asymptomatic, Karnkawinpong added.
According to the official, the patient had two contacts at the Thai airport and 17 contacts at a hotel.
According to The Himalayan Times newspaper, citing the Nepalese Health Ministry, two persons, a 71-year-old Nepalese national and a 66-year-old foreigner, whose citizenship was not specified, tested positive for Omicron. The latter entered Nepal by plane, was fully vaccinated, and tested negative for the disease upon arrival, while the infected Nepalese national was his close contact.
A total of 66 contacts of the Omicron patients have been tested for the virus in Nepal in relation to the incident, and their results came back negative, the ministry said, adding that both patients are currently in isolation and treatment.
Japan on Monday conformed its third case of the Omicron strain in a traveller from Italy, who arrived at an airport in Tokyo last Wednesday. The patient was fully vaccinated with Moderna in the summer. A total of 41 other persons on the same flight are being monitored by the authorities as close contacts, with one confirmed to be positive for the coronavirus, but not the Omicron strain. The first infection with the new variant was detected in Japan on November 30, and the second on December 1.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month, prompting countries worldwide to renew restrictions on travel as the fresh variant was recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern, given the high number of mutations it contains, making it potentially more transmissible and dangerous.
In the meantime, Omicron is now present in different parts of the world, including Europe, the United States, and Australia. Early on Monday, two cases of the new strain were confirmed in Russia in two arrivals from South Africa.