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Concerns in Pattaya over packed trucks transporting construction workers

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: AP

Whilst Thailand’s residents are being told to ensure appropriate social distancing in all circumstances as the country slowly re-opens businesses, Pattaya residents have shared their concern about the conditions local construction workers are being transported, saying there is no social distancing being observed at all.

The Pattaya News reports that it has received photos of workers crammed onto packed trucks to be taken to and from sites in Pattaya and the wider Chon Buri area. Many of these workers are migrant labourers, already forced to live in very cramped quarters, where observing any form of social distancing is unlikely or impossible.

Concerns in Pattaya over packed trucks transporting construction workers | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Pattaya has begun to gradually re-open, having been designated a “white zone” in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. The city has had no new cases of the virus for about 3 weeks now, so some businesses are being allowed to re-open, and checkpoints restricting access to the city to residents and essential workers have now been removed.

But the fear of a “second wave” remains high and residents are looking in particular at Singapore, which has experienced just that. Following what looked like a successful effort to get the virus under control in the city state, Singapore’s little-discussed migrant worker community sparked a second wave as a result of the cramped conditions where they live.

Even closer to home, illegal migrant workers around Thailand’s southern border area have tested positive after being confined to detention centres that didn’t allow for any physical distancing. Officials are now ramping up proactive testing among these communities and efforts are underway to improve physical distancing and hygiene practices. The Thai government has also agreed to cover the medical expenses of all migrant workers who test positive for the virus.

Testing also continues among the migrant worker community in Pattaya city, who are considered a high-risk group. Although there have been no confirmed cases in recent weeks, concerns remain that were the virus to take off again, it’s most likely to do so in the cramped conditions in which the workers are forced to both live and travel.

There were also concerns raised in Bangkok yesterday, when a delay with the BTS Skytrain service caused a backlog of commuters at stations, with the overcrowding that ensued making any kind of social distancing impossible.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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