Thailand has imposed a total ban on arrivals from eight African countries, effective from Saturday 27th of November, and those who already have permission to enter the country will be subject to quarantine for 14 days from tomorrow.

The countries are Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus variant to be “of concern” and named it Omicron. The WHO says it has a large number of mutations and early evidence suggesting an increased reinfection risk.

The variant was first reported to the WHO by South Africa on November 24th and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

The Thai government is now pursuing its goal to give out 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year. The Prime Minister is encouraging unvaccinated people to get their jabs so that normalcy can return.

Thai health authorities will launch a new vaccination campaign to speed up the inoculation drive. This campaign will last until 5 December. The Department of Disease Control expects the country to achieve the 100 million dose target as scheduled.

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