Officials threaten Ranong pier with closure over Covid violations


A pier in the southern province of Ranong is being threatened with closure after allowing the crew from a Myanmar fishing trawler to disembark and come ashore. This violates restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Myanmar is currently experiencing a surge in virus cases, going from 400 cases on August 20 to 17,794 cases today.

The dramatic jump in numbers has Thai officials concerned about possible transmission in provinces that border Myanmar, leading to a tightening of land and sea borders to prevent undocumented migrants entering the Kingdom illegally and bypassing health screening and quarantine.

The Bangkok Post reports that on Sunday, officials in Ranong were conducting a random check of local piers, when they encountered members of a Burmese fishing crew who’d been allowed to come ashore. It’s understood the men ran to their boat when approached by officials from Ranong’s port security centre, which operates under the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre. Spokesman Nat Charatsakun says pier authorities have been given an official warning as a result of the incident.

“If an outbreak is traced back to a wharf, its operator will be held responsible for failing to follow Covid-19 prevention guidelines, as outlined by the written agreement with Thai-MECC.”

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Meanwhile, precautions are also being taken at border areas elsewhere in the country. The province of Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand is suspending trade at 3 border areas over the escalating virus numbers in Myanmar. Security reinforcements have also been drafted in along the border with Malaysia, to prevent illegal migrants entering Thailand. Malaysia is also seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, with 293 new cases reported yesterday. The total number of active cases in the country currently stands at 12,381.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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