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Numbers go up: 38 local Covid-19 cases now related to Myanmar border town

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

So far, 38 local Covid-19 cases are related to Myanmar’s border town Tachileik. A second hospital in Chiang Rai is now prepared to treat patients for the coronavirus as 6 more returnees in quarantine tested have positive for the virus and more cases are expected.

Many of the cases are linked to the now-infamous 1G1-7 Hotel in Tachileik. The venue has been closed since November 24 due to the outbreak.

The entertainment complex is about 1.5 kilometres from the Thai border. According to the Bangkok Post, the complex is backed by foreign investors and has “pubs, young girls, drinks, karaoke and a casino.” A Tachileik resident claims the Thai women worked as prostitutes and the coronavirus spread through sex.

Out of the 38 cases related to Tachilek, 26 of the cases were detected in Chiang Rai. The first 10 cases were Thai women who returned from Tachileik illegally, evading the immigration screening and the mandatory quarantine. Some travelled to other provinces, like Chiang Mai and Bangkok, before testing positive for Covid-19.

There have been only a handful of local transmissions since then. The majority of recent cases related to Tachileik have been detected in quarantine. Chiang Rai officials have been encouraging Thais in Myanmar to return through the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, the official border crossing.

Out of the 6 new cases detected in quarantine today, 4 are women who worked at the 1G1-7 Hotel, according to public health chief Thossathep Boonthong. The other 2 women worked at the Hollywood nightclub and karaoke bar in Myanmar.

With an outbreak in Tachileik, Chiang Rai officials expect more Thais to flee the area. Hundreds of Thais work in the border town, according to director of the Communicable Diseases Division, Sophon Iamsirithaworn.

Covid-19 patients are being treated at the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital. If the hospital reaches capacity, the Mae Fah Luang Medical Centre at Mae Fah Luang University in Muang district will start treating coronavirus patients.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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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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