Coronavirus: Global situation

Thailand reports first death from Omicron variant

BANGKOK • Thailand has reported its first death from the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, a health official said yesterday.

The patient was a 86-year-old woman from the southern province of Songkhla. Her death came after Thailand detected its first Omicron case last month, which led to the reinstatement of its mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for foreign visitors.

"The woman was a bed-ridden, Alzheimer's patient," Health Ministry spokesman Rungrueng Kitphati told Reuters.

Such a death was expected as the country has so far reported more than 10,000 Omicron cases, he said, adding that Thailand would not need further containment measures.

Thailand reported 8,077 new infections and nine deaths yesterday, taking the country's tally to more than 2.3 million cases and nearly 22,000 deaths since the pandemic started in 2020.

About 66 per cent of an estimated 72 million people living in the country have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, but only about 14.9 per cent have received booster shots.

Last Tuesday, the central bank said South-east Asia's second-largest economy would take a 0.3 per cent hit from Omicron, although it should be managed by the first half of the year.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2022, with the headline Thailand reports first death from Omicron variant. Subscribe