At least 38 recent cases of Covid-19 in Thailand have been linked to a group of Thai’s who returned illegally from work in Myanmar.
Hundred’s of Thais are reported to have been working at the 1G1 Hotel in Myanmar’s border town of Tachileik which has been closed since 24th November. This led to many of the employees returning home, some illegally.
Twenty are believed to have crossed the border legally and tested positive for Covid-19 in a state-run quarantine facility. Sixteen others crossed the border illegally, missing quarantine and testing, and travelling on public transport, including by air, to their homes.
There have been concerns in Vietnam that illegal migrants would have similar effects there.
The majority of the new cases were reported in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces, near to the Myanmar border.
Just two new cases have been domestically transmitted, a man who visited Chiang Rai province between 26th and 29th November and a woman who had close contact with one of the infected returnees.
“Almost every patient was infected from the neighboring country. Those found in Thailand could be traced to the returnees and we found no further transmission.”Sophon Iamsirithavorn, Director, Communicable Disease Division,
Authorities have requested passengers on a number of flights that were used by the workers to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
The authorities have tried to reassure Thais that the situation is under control and that this is not a new, major outbreak. However reports from the northern region say that up to 70% of bookings during December had been cancelled.
Thailand has so far recorded 4,126 cases of Covid-19, including 19 in the last 24 hours. There have also been 60 deaths.
Picture credit Joao Voltolini on Unsplash
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