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Covid-19 testing units to be stationed along Thai-Myanmar border

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: PR Thai Government

In an effort to prevent a second wave of Covid-19, mobile testing units are being sent out to areas along the Thai-Myanmar border following a surge of cases in the neighbouring country.

The Biosafety Mobile Units will be run by medical volunteers along with help from local doctors from the Department of Disease Control. The 13 units will have laboratory equipment to collect samples from those who might be at risk of catching the virus. Photos of the units show a medic behind a window. Glove attachments allow the medic to conduct a swab test.

Medics will also test migrants who are found entering Thailand illegally. Those who have recently crossed the Thai-Myanmar border are considered to be at “high risk” of being infected with Covid-19, although there have been no recent reported cases of Covid-19 from Burmese migrants.

Migrant Health Volunteers, or MHV, are helping out to test migrants for Covid-19, according to Pattaya News. The volunteers are similar to Thailand’s Village Health Volunteers, except they speak the same language as the migrants.

Myanmar’s rising numbers have spread fear in Thailand’s border provinces. Border police continue to tighten their patrol along the border. Dozens of Burmese migrants have been arrested for allegedly crossing the border over the past month.

Authorities in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province have even blocked natural passageways with barbed wire. Other coronavirus scares have led schools to temporarily close for deep cleaning.

Myanmar’s recent outbreak started mainly in the Rakhine state on the country’s western coast, but a Thai health official predicts the virus will make its way to the Thailand border soon.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul says public relations are highly recommended at the villages to help monitor those who might be infected.

“The local residents are required to wear masks, wash their hands, and perform social distancing strictly to prevent the possibility of a second wave of the Covid-19.”

Covid-19 testing units to be stationed along Thai-Myanmar border | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: Pattaya News | WorldoMeters| Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    FarangBadThaiGood

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    If they opened the borders then they wouldn’t have people sneaking into the country.

  2. Avatar

    Joakim

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Caitlin, thank you for a well written article. One question: the people tested are kept in quarantine? Are all people crossing the border tested? Thank you.

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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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