Coronavirus cases tied to the new omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are surging in Bangkok and will soon spread nationwide, the Department of Medical Sciences said.
Dr. Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the department, said BA.4 and BA.5 infections were confirmed with three quarters of infected patients. Among local cases, the two subvariants were found with 72% of cases in Bangkok and 34.7% of cases in other provinces.
Regarding the possibility of both subvariants causing severe illness, Supakit said 72% of examined cases had mild symptoms but among patients suffering serious lung inflammation or using ventilators and those who died, the two subvariants were confirmed with 13 people or 77% of severely ill and dead patients.
He said that it had not been concluded that BA.4 and BA.5 caused severe symptoms. The Department of Medical Sciences asked hospitals under the jurisdiction of universities and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to send more cases of lung inflammation and fatalities for examination so that there would be enough data to reach a conclusion.
Next week the department will report how antibodies cope with BA.4 and BA.5.
Thailand on Thursday reported 2,257 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 28 deaths.