The Bangkok DJ who recently tested positive for Covid-19 was infected by the G strain, a more contagious, but less severe strain, according to the Department of Medical Sciences director general Opas Karnkawinpong. The strain is mostly found in those returning to Thailand from abroad and detected in quarantine.
The G strain isn’t as severe as L strain and the S strain that originated in China, but it is more contagious. Opas says those with just small amounts of the G strain virus, like people who had recently gone through quarantine, may have infected the DJ.
The 37 year old DJ tested positive for Covid-19 last week during a routine check at a Bangkok prison after being arrested on drug charges. Thailand went 100 days without a reported local transmission. Health officials do not know how the man came in contact with the virus. They identified 1,000 people that were in close contact with the DJ. More than half of them have been given swab tests and came out negative for Covid-19, Thai PBS reports.
Thailand’s top virologist, Yong Poovorawan, warned about the mutated G strain 2 months ago and said that if a second wave of the virus were to hit Thailand, it would probably be the G strain. The G strain is 10 times more contagious than the original S strain, he says.
Yong, who is a medical professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, says that the highly contagious strain was being found in people returning to Thailand from overseas. He says the G strain is prevalent in the United States and Europe.
“Thailand identified the S strain when COVID-19 pandemic first started in the country, however the doctors have now discovered a more dangerous strain amongst Thai returnees. They are the mutated G strain which still is prevalent in the United States and Europe.”
While the G strain spreads quicker, but Opas says it can easily be prevented if people follow hygiene routines like regularly wearing face masks and using hand sanitiser.
SOURCES: Thai PBS | Nation Thailand | Xinhua
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