Myanmar worker had Covid-19 before entering Thailand

Myanmar worker had Covid-19 before entering Thailand

The Myanmar migrant worker who was arrested in Phatthalung on Wednesday and tested positive for Covid-19 had been infected before entering Thailand, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) confirmed after examining his test results. The DDC also moved to reassure the public that the migrant poses low risks for transmission, as the test indicates he had been infected for a while.

Opas Karnkawinpong, acting director-general of the DDC, said the public should not panic as the blood test result from Department of Medical Sciences showed the 26-year-old Myanmar migrant worker had been infected with the virus before entering Thailand on Monday.

"The test shows this patient had developed immunity, which means he had been infected for a while. That also means the virus had weakened, posing a low risk for transmission," said Dr Opas.

The patient may have been infected in Malaysia, where he worked. The department ran a background check and found the man had worked in a market in Malaysia since 2018 that was a hot-spot for the virus.

Dr Opas said health officials are tracing the people he was in contact with after he arrived in Thailand. During the pandemic, the man needed to return to Myanmar via Tak's Mae Sot district in Thailand as he was missing travel documents. He commuted by bus with eight companions and slept a night on Langkawi island, Malaysia.

The next day, he took a boat to a pier in Satun at 4am and travelled by car to Tak, before he was arrested in Phatthalung.

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