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Thai immigration crackdown on illegal migrants flowing back into the country

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Thai immigration crackdown on illegal migrants flowing back into the country | The Thaiger
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Thailand borders four countries. Most of the borders are just jungle or the mighty Mekong River. In all cases the borders are easily crossed if someone wants to avoid the correct border channels. The country’s porous borders have been an ongoing issue with some 5 million+ illegal immigrants floating around Thailand at any one time. There has been recent attempts to hold amnesties and register illegal immigrants but Thailand’s borders remain ‘fluid’.

That’s a problem during a world virus pandemic.

Now the Thai Immigration Bureau is stepping up its efforts to stem the traffic of thousands of migrant workers across north eastern and eastern borders from Laos and Cambodia, and stop them from sneaking into Thailand illegally.

Thailand’s economic success over the past 50 years has been built on the back of cheap foreign labour and the pay and conditions offered in Thailand, whilst relatively low in world terms, is better than that offered by the country’s neighbours. Employers, eager to use the cheap flow of labour, are liable to turn a blind eye to the official, and onerous, Thai paperwork.

The head of Thai Immigration says immigration police are concerned about ongoing and illegal crossings as the Thai border remains closed to limit new infections of Covid-19. That the borders are so porous and the traffic across them almost impossible to police, has been a tangible threat to Thailand’s success in containing Covid-19 infections.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong says the immigration police will launch a campaign in the north eastern provinces to crack down on migrant workers who try and illegally enter the country for work.

Foreigners are not allowed to enter the kingdom by land, sea or air, with few exceptions.

“Some migrants crossing the border illegally may bring viral infections with them which will not be caught by screening authorities,” he told Bangkok Post.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, has ordered Immigration police to get information in the four northeastern border provinces of Bung Kan, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket and Nong Khai about the flow of illegal traffic across the river and across the borders.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong, heading up Thai Immigration, met with immigration police at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge crossing point in Nong Khai, the small province meandering along the Mekong bordering Laos.

“I ordered immigration police to work closely with border police and soldiers in in arresting illegal border crossers. More importantly, state officials themselves must not get involved with such offences.”

He noted that, as Thailand continues to reopen, there will be a need for migrant workers again. There was a flood of migrants leaving the country when the borders were closed as migrant workers scrambled to return to their homes. But now that situation is in reverse.

“Migration to Thailand has intensified since the previous report in 2014. Based on data from a range of sources, the report estimates that Thailand now hosts approximately 4.9 million non-Thai residents, a substantial increase from 3.7 million in 2014.

Most of them come from neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, accounting for an estimated 3.9 million documented and undocumented migrant workers. Other major groups include an estimated 480,000 stateless persons, 110,000 skilled professionals and 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Thailand benefits significantly from their presence. Migrant workers help fill labour shortages, contribute to economic growth and are becoming ever more important as Thai society ages. Constituting over 10 per cent of the total labour force, their work is thought to contribute between 4.3 to 6.6 per cent of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Thailand Migration Report 2019

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    Toby Andrews

    June 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Thais will need to do the cheap labour that these immigrants did soon.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

India aims to have Covid-19 vaccine by mid-August

Jack Burton

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India aims to have Covid-19 vaccine by mid-August | The Thaiger
PHOTO: tabipacademy.com

But scientists are skeptical at the speed of the development. India has announced its plan to take its first Covid-19 vaccine from human trials to general use by mid-August, just 6 weeks from now. Bharat Biotech International, an unlisted vaccine maker, received regulatory approval to start human clinical trials for its experimental vaccine earlier this week, but it’s already got India’s top medical research body expediting the process.

Bloomberg reports that a July 2 letter from the Indian Council of Medical Research to clinical trial sites said the vaccine is “envisaged to be rolled out for public health use by August 15, after completion of all clinical trials,” and that it’s “one of the top priority projects which is being monitored at the topmost level of the government.”

There is no evidence that Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is safe for human use, not to mention effective at providing any protection, short or long term. The “envisioned” timeline is far shorter than other front-runner vaccine efforts from American and Chinese drug makers, most of whom started human clinical trials months ago, and are now entering the last of 3 stages of testing.

There has never been an effective vaccine developed for any of the coronavirus family of diseases – SARS, MERS, the ‘common cold’ – 229E (alpha coronavirus), NL63 (alpha coronavirus), OC43 (beta coronavirus), HKU1 (beta coronavirus) – or Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Influenza (Flu) is NOT a coronavirus.

The announcement of a potential vaccine underlines India’s desperate need to find a way to stem the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 650,000 people and killed over 18,600 in the country, making it Asia’s new epicentre with the world’s fourth-largest outbreak. In its letter, the ICMR urged the trial sites to enroll volunteers by Tuesday.

The proposed speed has alarmed many in the medical fraternity. According to a tweet from a medical researcher at India’s Manipal University…

“Such an accelerated development pathway has not been done EVER for any kind of vaccine, even the ones being tried out in other countries. Even with accelerated timelines, this seems rushed and hence, has potential risks.”

The government of Indian PM Narendra Modi is anxious to create the impression it has gained control over the outbreak, after abandoning a costly lockdown that caused tremendous economic suffering without slowing the spread of the virus. The August 15 deadline for the Bharat vaccine may reflect that political pressure: that’s the day India celebrates its Independence from the British.

SOURCE: Bloomberg | Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 update: 40 days with no locally transmitted cases (July 4)

Jack Burton

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Covid-19 update: 40 days with no locally transmitted cases (July 4) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin - Nation Thailand

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration confirmed this morning that Thailand has not recorded a single locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in 40 days. 5 imported cases were reported today of repatriated Thai nationals – 1 from Kuwait, 1 from the UK and 3 from Sudan. All were discovered in state quarantine facilities.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin says Thailand remains on guard, and social distancing measures will continue to be enforced despite the 40 day milestone, as factors such as illegal immigrants remain a potential danger of contagion. Border control is a top priority for Thailand and although limited international travel is resuming, very strict precautions remain.

Only very limited groups of foreigners can enter, and numbers are severely restricted. These groups include those with work permits and medical reasons, but entry requires extensive paperwork, quarantines and is approved on a case-by-case basis.

General travel and tourism remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the threat of Covid-19 resurgence around the world, according to Taweesilp. Thailand is exploring potential “travel bubbles” with some countries that are deemed to have controlled the virus, as determined by the World Health Organisation.

As of today Thailand has had a total of 3,185 cases, of whom 3,066 of those recovered. There have been 58 deaths related to the virus.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Global Covid-19 cases exceed 11 million people. Deaths over 529,000.

Jack Burton

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Global Covid-19 cases exceed 11 million people. Deaths over 529,000. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andalou Agency

Covid-19 infections around the globe surpassed 11 million yesterday, another grim milestone in the spread of the virus that’s has killed more than half a million people since the outbreak began just over 6 months ago. According to the World Health Organisation, the number of cases is now more than double the figure for severe influenza illnesses recorded annually.

1 million new infections has been added to the total in less than 1 week, with the world infection rate starting to accelerate.

Some hard-hit countries are now starting to ease earlier lockdowns introduced to slow the spread of the virus, and making extensive changes to work and social life that could last until a vaccine is available. Other countries are experiencing a resurgence in contagion, prompting authorities to reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern into 2021.

In a new global record, the US reported more than 55,400 new cases on Thursday, as infections rose in a majority of states. Nearly a quarter of the known global deaths have occurred in the US… over 132,000 as of today. The recent surge has put US President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis in the spotlight and led several US state governors to halt plans to reopen their states after strict lockdowns.

Latin America, where Brazil has 1.5 million cases, makes up 23% of the global total of people infected. India is now the epicentre in Asia, rising to nearly 650,000 cases.

Asia and the Middle East have around 12% and 9% respectively, according to the worldometers tally, which uses verified government reports.

In third world and developing countries with limited testing capabilities, case numbers are likely to reflect a small proportion of the total infections. Experts caution that official data doesn’t tell the full story, with many believing that both cases and deaths have likely been underreported in some countries. But the data, following the most scrutinised and tracked virus in history, certainly shows developing trends and provides health professionals with critical information.

The first death linked to the new coronavirus was reported on January 10 in Wuhan, China, before infections and fatalities surged in other parts of China, then Europe, then in the US, Russia and now South America. The pandemic is now entering a new phase, with India and Brazil battling over 10,000 cases a day, putting a major strain on medical resources.

Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have experienced new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely eliminating local transmission.

Thailand has had no local transmissions of Covid-19 for 40 days.

SOURCE: Reuters

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