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20 Covid-19 cases in Chiang Rai linked to Myanmar hotel



PHOTO: Prachachat

So far, 20 Covid-19 cases in Chiang Rai are linked to the 1G1-7 Hotel in the Myanmar border town Tachileik, according to Chiang Rai Governor Prachon Pratsakul. A Tachileik resident claims the coronavirus spread through prostitution at the establishment.

Last week, 10 Thai women tested positive for Covid-19 last week after entering the Chiang Rai illegally, evading immigration screening and mandatory 14 day quarantine. Some travelled to other provinces in Thailand, like Chiang Mai and Bangkok, before testing positive.

The women say they worked at bars and hotels in Tachileik and some confirmed they worked at the 1G1-7 Hotel. A 32 year old Chiang Mai who was a DJ at the venue recently tested positive in Chiang Mai after crossing the border into Chiang Rai illegally.

Out of the 20 cases in Chiang Rai, 14 were detected in quarantine while 5 cases in the province were from those who entered illegally and dodged quarantine. Only 1 case in the province is a local transmission. The 28 year old man tested positive for the virus after coming in contact with infected returnees.

Along with the local transmission in Chiang Rai, health officials have recently reported local cases in Bangkok and Sing Buri.

After harsh warnings from Thai authorities about potential charges for crossing the border illegally and endangering public health, many are returning to Thailand through the official border crossing. So far, 171 people have returned from Tachileik, according to Nation Thailand. Returnees who test positive are admitted to Chiang Rai Prachanukerah Hospital.

The governor says the recent cases in quarantine were not a surprise because many of the women lived and worked together at the 1G1-7 Hotel. He says the province is open for Thai people who want to return, but they must go through the legal entry process.

“I believe the situation can be controlled because most of the cases found in the state local quarantine have limited contract groups, so I believe that after 14-25 days, Chiang Rai would be safe as a New Year 2021 gift to people and tourists who want to continue visiting.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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