Thais stuck in Tachileik catch Covid

Thais stuck in Tachileik catch Covid

Eight out of the nine Thai workers in the border town of Tachileik in Myanmar after they were made redundant by their employers have contracted Covid-19.

The workers -- seven of whom came from Chiang Mai while the rest are from Phayao -- took a rapid test for Covid-19, and eight were found to have contracted the virus.

The matter was revealed by Suebsakun Kidnukorn, an academic with Mae Fah Luang University's area-based social innovation research centre, who was approached by a group of Thai workers from the border for assistance.

Mr Suebsakun, who is also a coordinator at a local migrant worker's centre, said the nine Thai workers, aged 23-33, had illegally crossed the border to work at entertainment venues in Tachileik.

When the city was hit hard by the latest spike in Covid-19 cases earlier this month, Myanmar authorities imposed a strict lockdown and a curfew, which ultimately led to the women losing their income.

Without any income, the women were forced to stay together in a small rented room, where the virus could be spread easily if someone caught it.

Last Friday, they developed a fever and other Covid-19 symptoms, so they asked their employer to take them for a rapid test.

Out of the eight, five were sent to a field hospital in Tachileik for treatment, while the rest were isolated in quarantine.

Many Thai migrants stranded in Tachileik have requested the Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon for assistance in arranging their return.

According to Chiang Rai authorities, about 20 Thai migrants are due to return through the Thai–Myanmar Friendship Bridge today.

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