60-70% of Thais have been infected with Covid: Expert


A THAI medical expert said in a Facebook post today (Sept. 21) that blood tests previously carried out indicate that around 60-70% of the population have been infected with Covid-19, particularly the dominant Omicron subvariant, Matichon newspaper said.

Dr. Yong Phuworawan, the head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, said Covid infection is still widespread in the country and it is not possible to work out the real tally of patients with or without symptoms with the daily reported cases being lower than the actual total. 

This is so because many patients either have few symptoms or are asymptomatic particularly after the Omicron subvariant took hold.

A detailed study to determine the real infecton rate is starting in October with this funded by the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI) and assisted by the Public Health Ministry’s Disease Control Department and Chonburi Provincial Public Health Office. 

This study covers the population all the way from 6 months of age to the elderly with each group consisting of 1,200 people. The team will move to various provinces in all the regions of the country in carrying out antinuclear capsid antibody and anti-spike IgG tests.

The immune system consistently shows prevention and severity of infection and this data will be used to plan Covid preventive measures in the near future particularly the need for booster jabs, he said.

“The information being obtained is laboratory data and reflects the epidemiology of Thailand. It will be the first study of a large population conducted in Thailand to reflect the events over the past three years,”  Dr. Yong said.


Top: The Omicron strain of Covid-19 virus. Image: Gavi.org

Front Page: Dr. Yong Phuworawan. Photo: Matichon

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TNR staff

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