Short-range aerosol suspected reason behind Kalasin Omicron cluster

A pulmonologist at Siriraj Hospital has explained that the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Kalasin province might indicate a limited range of airborne transmissibility.

Dr Nithipat Jearakul, Head of the Department of Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis at Siriraj Hospital, said he Omicron strain might be able to spread via short-range aerosol transmission. He based his theory on observations of the Kalasin cluster.

The outbreak, linked to a couple who traveled to Thailand from Belgium, was apparently able to spread despite the couple not having any physical contact with staffers at the establishments they visited.

Elaborating on the short-range transmission model, Dr Nithipat said the virus can be carried by very fine aerosol measuring less than 50 micrometers in diameter. This type of aerosol, which can easily be inhaled by others, can remain suspended in the air longer than larger forms of droplets of less than 5 micrometers in diameter.

According to the latest findings concerning the Omicron variant, which can remain in a patient’s upper respiratory tract for an extended period of time, those with the Omicron strain can expel the virus by talking, shouting, singing, coughing, and sneezing.

Dr. Nithipat also noted that this new strain might not be as capable of causing severe or prolonged disease compared to previous variants, despite its higher transmissibility. He added that this was partly due to Thailand’s robust disease control measures, vaccinations, and natural immunity from previous waves of infection.

Information and Source

Reporter : Tanakorn Sangiam

Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom

National News Bureau :

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PM urges public to keep masks on throughout holiday season

With New Year celebrations just around the corner amidst the increase of Omicron cases, the Prime Minister has reminded event organizers to strictly comply with the Covid Free Settings, while urging the general public to always have a mask on.

In his Facebook post, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha asked everyone to always wear a mask when meeting other people, and avoid visiting crowded places, especially poorly ventilated settings.

He urged unvaccinated people to get their jabs at the earliest opportunity.

He then asked people traveling or celebrating the New Year to closely monitor themselves for symptoms after returning home, and perform a self-test should they experience any symptoms. He recommended people work from home after the long break before returning to the office.

He reminded businesses to strictly comply with the Covid Free Settings, as well as other measures, warning that failure to comply will result in immediate closure.

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Reporter : Tanakorn Sangiam

Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom

National News Bureau :

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Norse Atlantic Airways prepares for take-off

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority has issued an air operator’s certificate to Norse Atlantic Airways. The new airline is on track to start transatlantic flights in spring 2022. 

Thailand Now Confirms 740 Omicron Cases

Authorities have confirmed that Thailand now has 740 confirmed cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, about 34% of which are community infections.

According to Dr Supakit Sirilak, chief of the Department of Medical Sciences, 489 of the cases were international arrivals while 251 were local transmissions.

He noted, however, that face masks, social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene, such as through regular handwashing, remained effective in protecting against all COVID-19 variants.

The Omicron variant has now been reported in 108 countries worldwide, including all 50 states in the United States, though the Delta variant remains the dominant strain in Thailand.

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Reporter : Paul Rujopakarn

Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn

National News Bureau :

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Expo 2020 prepares for Vietnam national day

Vietnam is preparing to celebrate its national day at Expo 2020 in Dubai. Proceedings will begin with an opening flag-raising ceremony and a beautiful traditional art performance.

Bangkok Extends Closure of Entertainment Venues Until January 15

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will extend the temporary closure of entertainment venues until January 15 to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has issued an announcement of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on Orders of Temporary Closure of Premises (No. 48), stating that the Governor of Bangkok, with the approval of the BMA Committee on the Communicable Diseases as stated in the Meeting Resolution No. 34/2564 dated 15th December 2021, will enforce these orders as follows:

1. An extension to the closure of the venues that were indicated in the BMA announcement on November 29, 2021. The extension will be in effect until January 15, 2022, or until further notice.

2. New Year activities and events which include the gathering of large groups of people must follow the BMA announcement in regards to venues and events that are specially allowed for the New Year holiday, which was announced on December 17, 2021. Violators will be charged under section 51 of the Communicable Diseases Act B.E 2558 (2015) and will be sentenced to one year in prison, or a 20,000 baht fine, or both. They could also be guilty of violating section 18 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005), with punishment up to 2 years in prison or a 40,000 baht fine, or both.

The BMA stated that these orders are an urgent necessity and that any delay may cause considerable damage to any individual or affect the public interest. Therefore, litigants shall not be granted the opportunity to object under section 30 paragraph two (1) of the Administrative Procedure Act, B.E. 2539. (1996). The announcement was made on December 29, 2021.

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Reporter : Natthaphon  Sangpolsit

Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom

National News Bureau :

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