Malaysia closes main southern checkpoint into Thailand

Malaysia has closed the Bukit Kayu Hitam border checkpoint, the main southern land border into Thailand, across the border from Sadao in Songkhla. Officials say the border is now closed in efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 in the Kedah state. Although passage of people is not allowed, transport and trade, with requisite paperwork, will be allowed to continue.

But Thais, stuck in Malaysia, unable to cross through the Sadao border, would still be permitted to re-enter through Betong, Sungai Kolok or Wang Prachan checkpoints at other points along the Thai/Malaysia border, but will have to reregister and update their paperwork before they can enter.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur updated the details yesterday and enforced the closure from Friday. Malaysia has flattened its coronavirus curve for nearly 3 months and are aiming to contain the latest outbreak in the northern state. 182 cases were recorded yesterday. Malaysia has reported a total of 9,868 cases since the start of the outbreak.

Malaysia closes main southern checkpoint into Thailand | News by Thaiger

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“Thais who had registered earlier to enter the country via Sadao between now and September 25 should re-register and choose other checkpoints such as Betong, Sungai Kolok or Wang Prachan.”

Thais will be able to apply for a certifying letter from the embassy and obtain a fit-to-travel certificates issued within 72 hours before their planned travel date.

The 14 day closure of the border (since the decision was taken on Thursday), at the Bukit Kanyu Hitam checkpoint, is in response to a localised spike in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia’s Kedah state – 16 new cases since last Wednesday. The ‘Sungai cluster’ involves staff member at a medical centre in Kedah, who became infected with Covid-19 and subsequently infected 7 other family members.

The last Thai repatriates who were allowed to cross the border from Malaysia to Thailand yesterday were 2 men and 3 women who had just been released from jail in Malaysia and were being deported back to Thailand.

Malaysia on Friday reported 182 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 9,810. Of the total, 9,181 people had recovered and 105 remained in hospitals. There have been 128 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post |

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