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‘Impossible,’ health official says Burmese boy didn’t catch Covid-19 in Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: MCOT

Thai health officials are investigating a case where a Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 in Myanmar just 9 days after he travelled out of Thailand. But it’s “impossible” the child contracted the virus in Thailand, according to the Department of Disease Control director general Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenhai.

The 2 year old boy left Mae Sot border district on September 4 and headed toward Myawaddy, a Myanmar town bordering Thailand. The boy tested positive for Covid-19 just 9 days later on Sunday, September 13. The Nation Thailand says Myawaddy was put on lockdown after the boy’s infection was announced.

There is no record of the boy and his mother leaving the Thailand and the DDC director general says he suspects they travelled through natural, unofficial, routes.

He claims it’s “impossible” that the boy contracted the virus while in Thailand. Random coronavirus tests were done on 2,635 people in the district on September 8 and 9. 1,128 of those people were migrants. All results came out negative, he says.

The director general also adds that Thailand’s border districts have upped their security since the spike in Covid-19 cases in Myanmar. Stringent monitoring measures are in place to screen people who are classified as “high risk” for carrying the virus, he says.

Police have also tightened their patrol and have arrested dozens of Burmese migrants for allegedly crossing the border illegally. Border patrol in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province have even placed barbed wire along the natural passageways to prevent migrants from entering Thailand and potentially spreading the virus.

Although he says there’s no way the boy contracted the case in Thailand, Suwanchai says he’s gathering more information about the case from the World Health Organisation and the Thai Immigration Office.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thai PBS | TNA

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    james street

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Oh! . its impossible just like that DJ in prison…. no testing just track and trace. So how does anyone know who has it.

    Closing your eyes doesn’t make a problem go away…

    Testing is ropey at best even in western countries.

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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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