Omicron detected in passenger returning from Saudi

PHUKET: Health authorities have confirmed that a passenger recently returned from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia tested positive for the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kiattikoon confirmed that five of the 137 travellers from Saudi Arabia who entered Phuket under the “Test & Go” policy on Dec 13 were classed as green category cases and quarantined under the close supervision of a medical team for five days.

The five passengers had previously conducted RT-PCR testing in Saudi Arabia before their flight and then tested again on landing in Phuket before being flagged to authorities. No specific details on the passengers’ gender, nationality or age were released. The remaining passengers on the flight received negative tests and were allowed to travel onto their respective destinations.

After five days of quarantine had passed the five were then allowed to return to the southern province of Pattani where they will continue their quarantine. Phuket Provincial Police coordinated with authorities in Pattani to receive the five patients who would then undergo medical supervision by relevant teams and remain in quarantine until the 14 day timeframe had elapsed.

Dr Kusak confirmed that he was informed by the Phuket Medical Science Center on Friday (Dec 17) that one of the five had tested positive for the Omicron strain.

However, he clarified that the five passengers were kept under strict watch in quarantine and there is no way the Omicron variant could have spread elsewhere on the island. He subsequently urged the public not to panic as there is absolutely no sign of a threat to the health and safety of Phuket’s residents.

The link to the original story from the PR Phuket Facebook page posted on 19/12/2021 at 12:19pm can be found here.

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