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Myanmar Jade mine landslide kills at least 19

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At least 19 jade mine workers along with mine security guards were killed in a landslide on Sunday. Rescuers have been searching for survivors. The incident is reported to have happened early Sunday morning in the remote Hpakant township in the north of Myanmar.

Two police officers were also injured but were rescued and sent to hospital. Authorities also reported that one four-wheel drive car and three security guard posts were buried in the landslide.

Villagers report that more people were buried in the soil that collapsed in the landslide, but no one is sure about the number of unrecovered victims. The villager noted that “thousands of people scavenge in the huge pile of mine waste every day”.

In April more than 54 people were killed when another massive landslide buried workers and vehicles.

Ethnic Burmese minority communities risk their lives mining for jade in run-down, unsafe mines, feeding demand from nearby China, just to the north of the location of the mine. The Hpakant landscape has been turned into a vast ‘moonscape’ by years of unregulated jade mining.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Governor halts movement of goods between Tak and Myanmar amid Covid fears

Maya Taylor

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Governor halts movement of goods between Tak and Myanmar amid Covid fears | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.12go.asia

The governor of the north-western province of Tak has put a temporary stop on the transport of goods between the province and Myanmar, just across the border. The suspension comes amid increasing anxiety about the number of Covid-19 cases in the neighbouring country and is expected to remain in force until at least October 25.

Governor Pongrat Piromrat called a halt to the movement of goods after 3 Burmese truck drivers tested positive for the virus, followed by 3 Burmese workers, all members of the same family, who were living in the Mae Sot district of Tak. Last week, residents of Mae Sot gathered at a checkpoint by the Friendship Bridge, which spans the Moei River, and connects Mae Sot with the Burmese city of Myawaddy. They were protesting what they see as lax control of drivers crossing from Myanmar into the Kingdom.

Thai PBS World reports that the area where the latest infections have been discovered is now under 24 hour watch by village guards, with everyone entering and leaving having to undergo health screening, including temperature checks.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Prachuap Khiri Khan blocks borders with barbed wire after Covid-19 reports in Myanmar

Caitlin Ashworth

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Prachuap Khiri Khan blocks borders with barbed wire after Covid-19 reports in Myanmar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

With the recent report of 41 new Covid-19 cases in a neighbouring Myanmar town, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials are making sure the Thai-Myanmar natural border is blocked with barbed wire fences. The province’s governor Panlop Singhaseni says all districts have been told to keep borders secure.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan, 40 natural borders have been closed off to prevent people from entering Thailand illegally and potentially spreading the virus. Thai truck drivers can still cross the border to transport basic necessities. The province also set up more than 20 Covid-19 screening checkpoints. 400 locals in the area have been tested, but there have been no positive cases in the province.

Myanmar was hit with a surge of cases last month and the virus continues to spread. The majority of cases first spread in the Rakhine state on the country’s western coast and then spread across the country, popping up in towns bordering Thailand. The country has reported 18,781 Covid-19 cases with 5,548 recoveries and 444 deaths, according to Worldometer.

Recently, Myanmar’s Myeik province, which borders 8 districts in Prachuap Kiri Khan, reported 41 new Covid-19 cases, adding up to 66 cases in the area. 39 of the new cases are monks. A Covid-19 screening point was set up in Myeik requiring travellers entering the province to show a passport and certificate of examination.

Thailand border officers in various districts have been tightening patrol over the past month, monitoring the area and arresting a number of migrants caught allegedly crossing the border. Some have placed barbed wire to prevent people from crossing into Thailand through natural passageways. Some volunteers have even started to patrol the area.

Prachuap Khiri Khan blocks borders with barbed wire after Covid-19 reports in Myanmar | News by The Thaiger

Total Covid-19 cases in Myanmar as of October 5, according to Worldometer.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

60 Burmese test negative for Covid-19 after contact with infected teen at border district

Caitlin Ashworth

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60 Burmese test negative for Covid-19 after contact with infected teen at border district | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

Those in the Kanchanburi province, close to the Thai-Myanmar border in the west of Thailand, have been on high alert since a Burmese teenager in a border town tested positive for Covid-19 last month. Myanmar health officials now report that 60 people in the Payantongsu district, who were in close contact with the 17 year old, have all tested negative for Covid-19.

With the rising number of cases in Myanmar and the report of the teen’s case, both Thai and Myanmar authorities agreed to close the Three Pagodas Pass border checkpoint, in Prachuap Khiri Kgan, until October 5. In Kanchanburi’s Sangkhla Buri district, health officials took saliva samples from 100 villagers who had recently crossed the border to Payatongsu. The results have not come back yet, but a senior public health official says all the samples are being tested by the Institute of Medical Sciences in Samut Songkhram. He says the results will be released before the border crossing is opened.

Burmese health officials tested 33 local residents, 12 hospital staff members and 15 rescue workers who all came in close contact with the teenager. The negative test results were recently shared with Thai officials.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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