ฺBANGKOK, April 8 (TNA) – COVID-19 was spreading fast from entertainment venues because it was of the British variant and daily new cases could be four or five digits with poor disease control measures, a well-known virologist has warned.
Prof Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, said that COVID-19 that was spreading from entertainment places in Thong Lor area of Bangkok was of the British variant, the contagious rate of which was 1.7 times higher than that of the original virus.
According to him, the first wave of COVID-19 in the country saw about 3,000 total cases with the daily increments of two digits in April last year.
The latest wave started in December and has not ended. Outbreaks have recurred in poorly ventilated entertainment places where breaths can easily spread the virus.
Tests showed that 24 infected people from Thong Lor had the British variant, aka B117. Its high contagious rate can raise the number of new cases by 100 times.
“I am seriously concerned. The movements of people were the cause. I wonder how the British variant arrived despite serious efforts to block it. People should reduce transport. I support the idea to declare five provinces red zones because there are many cases in Bangkok and infected people are young, have mild symptoms and can spread the disease to many people,” Prof Dr Yong said.
He also said that vaccination could protect infected people from severe illness but could not completely prevent infection. Two-thirds of vaccinated people had immunity after the first jab but adequate immunity will occur 14 days after the second jab, Prof Dr Yong said. (TNA)