On Monday, locals ride motorcycles in front of a mosque in Nonthaburi. Several Haj pilgrims including some from the province tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 upon their return from Saudi Arabia. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
Most of the group of 31 Thais who returned from a pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia and arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on December 15 have now been found infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Initially, the provincial health office in Nonthaburi said that seven returnees in Nonthaburi tested positive for the variant, as reported by the Bangkok Post Monday. On Tuesday, the office reported that it found the total number of infections among the group to be 25 out of 31.
Those who tested positive come from various parts of the country, including 14 from Nonthaburi, four from Pathum Thani, four from Ayutthaya, two from Bangkok and one from Nakhon Ratchasima, the office said.
Of the 14 people infected in Nonthaburi, five were confirmed to be carriers of Omicron after testing negative for Covid-19 when they arrived in Thailand last Wednesday, the office said.
At present, the 25 people are now in state quarantine. People who have been in close contact with the 25 are required to contact local health authorities as soon as possible.
Chiang Rai, meanwhile, announced confirmation of his first case of the Omicron variant, a 36-year-old British traveler who had recently entered the province after arriving in Bangkok.
The man left England with a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result and still tested negative upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport on December 13, Chiang Rai governor Pasakon Bunyalak said.
The tourist spent two nights in a hotel in Bangkok before flying to Chiang Mai where he met three American friends, said the governor.
From Chiang Mai, the Briton hired a car with driver to drop him off in Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai on December 15 where he checked into a hotel, the governor said.
The man went to a restaurant near the hotel before developing a high fever and sore throat, the governor said, adding that the tourist then went to a pharmacy to purchase a test kit of Covid-19 antigen. He tested positive for Covid-19 that night and waited until the next morning to go to a hospital for a Covid-19 RT-PCR test which confirmed the result.
The man was admitted to hospital for treatment and samples were taken and sent to the Department of Medical Sciences for further testing, which revealed he had the Omicron variant, the governor said.
His American friends he had met in Chiang Mai and the driver who took him to Chiang Rai are now considered to have a high risk of contracting the virus, even though their first tests gave negative results, the governor said. .