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Riot fears reopen ‘closed’ Thai border checkpoints as migrant workers flee

Greeley Pulitzer

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Riot fears reopen ‘closed’ Thai border checkpoints as migrant workers flee | The Thaiger
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“We must go home, or we will starve to death in Bangkok.”

Some of Thailand’s recently closed border checkpoints were forced to reopen today as thousands of migrant workers, now unemployed due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, flee Thailand for their homes in Myanmar and Cambodia. Their numbers and their desperation sparked fears of rioting.

In Chiang Rai, the border was reopened after about 100 workers from Myanmar arrived at the Mae Sai checkpoint, only to find it closed. a 28 year old woman in the group, recently laid off due to shutdowns in Bangkok, told reporters:

“We must go home, or we will starve to death in Bangkok.”

The group’s insistence forced the governor and immigration officials to grant them exemptions and allow them to cross the border into Tachileik, Myanmar.

In Mae Sot more than 4,200 Burmese workers were allowed to cross back into their country through the checkpoint.

The atmosphere was also tense at Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet checkpoint near Cambodia. Police had to prevent more than 400 Cambodian workers from protesting against the border closure. The situation eased after Thai and Cambodian authorities decided to reopen the border temporarily.

A bus terminal in the Nakhon Phanom Municipality was also packed with stranded migrant workers from Laos and Vietnam. They were later allowed to pass over the 3rd Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge into Laos.

Meanwhile, Thai workers returning home from Bangkok are being told they must go into 14 day self-isolation.

Checkpoints across the southern border with Malaysia have also been closed. Although Malaysia had already ordered its borders closed earlier, following reports of Covid-19 cases linked to a mosque event in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

Malaysia’s nationwide lockdown has also driven Thai workers to return home. However, sources say many failed to comply with the quarantine requirements after they crossed the southern border.

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Northern Thailand

Chiang Rai puts strict conditions on people entering the province

Anukul

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Chiang Rai puts strict conditions on people entering the province | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: chiangmaicitylife.com

As of yesterday, the Governor of Chiang Rai Prajon Pratyakul issued an order that ‘everyone entering Chiang Rai province will have to wear a face mask and undergo screening at checkpoints’.

“This order will apply to all visitors whether, on foot, private vehicles or public transport, those who cannot provide evidence of being a local resident or having a workplace in Chiang Rai will be denied entry, as well as those who do not wear a facemask or refuses to undergo the screening process.”

For the people who are allowed entry, they must provide their name, address and telephone number to checkpoint officials and strictly follow the guidelines as suggested by the Ministry of Public Health, including maintaining the distance of at least one metre between anyone and regularly wash their hands.

Vehicles that are carrying supplies and products for selling or manufacturing in the province are allowed to enter the province but they have to undergo the screening procedure as well.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Drug party raided in Chiang Rai for defying public gathering ban

Greeley Pulitzer

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Drug party raided in Chiang Rai for defying public gathering ban | The Thaiger
PHOTO: thaivisa

Authorities are cracking down and enforcing the ban on on public gatherings under the the state of emergency declared to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic last week. 22 people were arrested at a drug party in Chiang Rai yesterday for “gathering in defiance of the Emergency Decree”. 10 men and 12 women between the ages of 20 and 30 were nabbed at a hotel in the province’s main city district.

(Gamblers also arrested in Phuket, below)

The 22 were attending a pool party where alcohol and drugs such as ecstasy and ketamine were allegedly being sold. Police confiscated 237,000 baht in cash found in a bag, along with illicit drugs for evidence.

An initial investigation showed that a 24 year old man from Trat province in Thailand’s east, on the Cambodian border, had been holding parties at the hotel since last Thursday. It’s believed he started holding the parties because most public venues are unavailable during the virus scare.

Chiang Rai’s governor says police raided the hotel in tambon Tha Sut after a tip-off.

Apart from drug charges, the detainees will also be punished for defying the Emergency Decree, which bans gatherings. The penalty is two years in prison and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht. Chiang Rai has 5 confirmed coronavirus cases.

In a related development, 6 gamblers were arrested in Phuket near the island’s Muang district yesterday.

The detainees were identified as 51 year old Natthawut, 55 year old Suwit, 40 year old Charoon, 48 year old Praiwan, 28 year old Natthapol and 39 year old Natthapong. No surnames were added to the report. Police say that while some were wearing masks to potentially protect themselves from the coronavirus, they were violating the Emergency Decree by sitting around a table to play the games. Gambling is officially illegal in Thailand, apart from the bi-monthly lottery.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Search on for tour bus passengers after three test positive for Covid-19

Anukul

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Search on for tour bus passengers after three test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Dreamstime.com

Authorities in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand, have been tracking down 3 passengers who have tested positive for Covid-19. The passengers were travelling on a VIP tour bus from Bangkok to Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai disrtict.

Chiang Rai deputy governor, Mr. Pasakorn Boonyalak, and Dr. Tossathep Boonthong, the provincial health chief, say…

“…that they are asking passengers on Sombat Tour Company’s bus No 16-3473, which left Bangkok for Chiang Saen on March 21 at 7.15pm, to report to provincial health officials for all fellow travellers now need to be screened.”

All three confirmed Covid-19 cases from the bus are now being treated at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and senior health officials accepted the delivery of Chinese medical supplies, at the Public Health Ministry, from Mr. Yang Zen, the Chinese chargé airfares. The medical supplies consists of 100,000 hygienic face masks, 10,000 N95 face masks, 2,000 protective gowns and 332 Covid-19 test kits.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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