Illegal migrants latest Covid-19 worry

Illegal migrants latest Covid-19 worry

An official is collecting samples from a migrant worker for Covid-19 tests in Samut Sakhon province in April. The government is worried that illegal migrant workers may bring the disease to the country. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
An official is collecting samples from a migrant worker for Covid-19 tests in Samut Sakhon province in April. The government is worried that illegal migrant workers may bring the disease to the country. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Checkpoints will be set up on roads from border areas to intercept illegal migrants coming here to work, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, a government spokesman said.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Thursday that although there had been no locally infected Covid-19 cases detected for 45 days, it could not be assumed the country was 100% free of the disease.

"Alien workers are returning because the fifth phase of easing of the business lockdown is generating a demand for labour," he said.

Security authorities admitted they could not completely seal off the border against illegal migrants.  Therefore, they would set up more checkpoints on main roads leading to cities, to intercept illegal migrant workers, Dr Taweesilp said.

About a million village-based health volunteers would also keep a look out for strangers, because they could be illegal migrants, he said.

The spokesman urged employers to use only legal workers to help control Covid-19.

Dr Taweesilp said health authorities could not confirm that all Thai people were free of Covid-19.

The patient-under-investigation criteria would be broadened to encourage more people with mild symptoms to show up for Covid-19 tests.

"More than 600,000 Thai people have been tested, and officials want to test more," Dr Taweesilp said.


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