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covid-scare - Rayong businesses hit hard by Egyptian Covid scare

Started by thaiga, July 15, 2020, 11:19:36 AM

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Rayong businesses hit hard by Egyptian Covid scare

Shop owners close their shops in the Passione mall, formerly known as Laem Thong, for two days of cleaning after an Egyptian soldier visited the mall and was later confirmed infected with Covid-19.

Hotels and other businesses in Rayong province have suffered a further blow from news that a Covid-infected Egyptian soldier paid a short visit to the eastern coastal province.

Pradchaya Samalapa, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce's committee on the Eastern region's development, said the incident had taken a toll on local businesses.

"Hotels and resorts have been hard hit as travellers cancelled their bookings after the news broke," he said  on Tuesday (July 14).

The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) admitted on Monday that it had made errors in managing the entry of some groups of foreigners. The infected soldier was among a 31-strong delegation of Egyptian military personnel who landed at Rayong's U-Tapao Airport last Wednesday and stayed in a local hotel and visited a local shopping mall. They were not subject to state quarantine, unlike Thais who return to the country. The group left Thailand on Saturday (July 11), but a test result the next day confirmed the soldier had Covid-19.

The incident sparked fear in the province of a second wave of virus infections.

Pradchaya said tourists had cancelled bookings in the province for the long holiday at the end of July.

Other businesses preparing to reopen after months of lockdown are also suffering, with workers now refusing to return to the province over fears of a second wave of contagion, he added.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Most schools in Rayong close as teachers went to places Egyptian soldier did
As many as 274 schools in Rayong have had to close because their teachers visited venues where they may have been at risk of contracting Covid-19, while the Education Ministry said it will restart online classes.

The 274 institutions that are having to close include 11 vocational colleges, 223 public schools, 32 private schools and eight informal educational institutes.

Meanwhile, Bangkok's Samsenwittayalai School will close on Wednesday because one of its students had visited the hotel in Rayong where the Egyptian soldier who tested positive for Covid-19 had been staying. The student, meanwhile, is required to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Sainampeung School in Bangkok's Khlong Toei district will also be closed from July 15 to 17 because the director is worried about a second wave of infections caused by an "emergency situation" announced by the Education Ministry. It is believed he may be referring to the case of a nine-year-old Sudanese girl who tested positive for Covid-19 and stayed in a condominium near the school.

Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said that nearly every school in Rayong has been closed, though preparations have been made for online classes in case there is a second-wave of Covid-19 infections.

He said classrooms may be entirely done away with if there's a second-wave of infections as the ministry is prepared to conduct online lessons so students are able to complete their semester

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Deputy Minister of Public Health visits Rayong

(NNT) - Because a visiting Egyptian soldier who tested positive to COVID-19 is known to have visited places in Rayong province in the company of other soldiers, the hotel where they stayed and some venues have now been closed. The authority has also brought a COVID-19 mobile lab to test people at the front of a mall that the soldier went to.

Mr. Sathit Pitutecha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, has visited Rayong province to attend a meeting and gain an update on the case of 31 Egyptian soldiers, who arranged to stay in the hotel but also visited the mall; one of them was subsequently confirmed to be COVID-19 positive. The Deputy Minister said that there is nothing to be worried about, and he believes that the situation can be handled satisfactorily. He will issue an update on the situation after the meeting.

In the meantime, the Deputy Minister also visited the mobile lab that is now parked in front of Passione Mall that the Egyptian soldiers visited. Many people were today queueing for the test. The results will be sent via SMS message.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


CCSA cancels Egyptian military flights to Thailand

(NNT) - A meeting of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) resolved to revoke its permission for eight military flights from Egypt to enter Thailand, and to rein in the issue of international arrivals.

On Tuesday (July 14), the CCSA meeting made several resolutions after some foreign very important persons (VIPs) were found to be infected with the virus.

The CCSA will revise its recent measures to ease restrictions on diplomats along with their spouses, parents and children.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to cancel permission for eight military flights from Egypt to enter the kingdom from July 17 to 20 and from July 25 to 29 this year.

The CCSA's preliminary resolutions on international arrivals and state quarantine measures will be postponed in accordance with its 12th announcement, sections two, three and 11. The measures will be revised, so that they are more comprehensive and effective.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thai PM says news of Egyptian delegation incident was like being hit by a plane
Thailand's Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, said today he felt as though he had been hit by a plane when he learned of the Egyptian military mission's transgression of Thailand's health safety protocols, as a nation-wide search for people who were in close contact with the Egyptian soldiers was launched.

During his opening speech, at the launch of an economic model for sustainable development, organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations on Wednesday, the Prime Minister explained his shock, after it was discovered that one member of the Egyptian military delegation, staying at a hotel in Rayong, was found to be infected with COVID-19, after several of them broke health regulations by visiting a local shopping mall.

He also expressed concern over the high-risk behavior of people frequenting night entertainment venues, warning them to exercise extra caution.

He stressed that it is everyone's responsibility to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as he urged his fellow countrymen to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to work together in nation building.

Accompanied by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and director-general of the Disease Control Department, the Prime Minister is due to fly to Rayong province by helicopter at 4pm today (Wednesday), to visit the Passione Mall, the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel and a wet market, and to offer moral support to the townspeople.

Interior Permanent Secretary Chatchai Promlert issued an order today, to all provincial governors, to locate anyone in their respective provinces who was at Passione (formerly Laem Thong) Mall or D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel between July 8th and 10th and to ensure they are tested for COVID-19.

More than 1,000 residents of Rayong, including a van driver and a cabbie, have been given swab tests by health officials. Both the van driver, who took the Egyptians from U-tapao airport to the hotel, and the cabbie, who took some of the Egyptians from their hotel to the mall, have been cleared of the disease.

The honorary president of The Rayong Chamber of Commerce, Anuchita Chinsiriprapa, disclosed today that over 90% of hotel room and seminar bookings in the province have been cancelled, after news of the Egyptian incident went public.

She said, however, that hotel officials have tried to convince their customers, who made advance bookings, that their hotels are safe and not connected to the Egyptian delegation.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Provincial governors told to hunt down people who visited Rayong
The Interior Ministry has instructed provincial governors nationwide to publicly announce that people who had travelled to Rayong on July 8 to 11 immediately contact the provincial public health office or call the Department of Disease Control (DDC)'s 1422 hotline.

This effort is to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as these individuals may have been in contact with an infected Egyptian soldier who was visiting the province.

The letter, signed by Interior Ministry's permanent secretary Chatchai Promlert, instructed provincial governors to immediately find out who in their province had visited Rayong during the period the infected soldier was visiting different venues in the province's main city.

"Provincial governors must proceed in line with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 if they find people who were in contact with the patient in Rayong," the letter read.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Prayut heads to Rayong as Covid scandal roils local businesses
Owners of Rayong businesses today submitted a petition asking Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to visit the province and reassure residents over a visiting Egyptian soldier who was found to be infected with Covid-19 virus.

Local tourism and other businesses have been badly hit by fears of a second wave of infections after the Egyptian was exempted from quarantine requirements and went shopping in the city.

Prayut said today he will visit Rayong this evening in an effort to boost local morale.

The Rayong business representatives also urged the government to cancel the 14-day quarantine exemption granted to certain foreigners when they enter Thailand.

They said they had not demanded any compensation over the exempted Egyptian, but they want to see the government and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) take responsibility by extending mandatory 14-day quarantine to all foreign visitors, no matter who invited them.

The infected soldier was among a 31-strong delegation of Egyptian military personnel who landed at Rayong's U-Tapao Airport last Wednesday before staying in a local hotel and visiting a Rayong shopping mall.

The delegation left Thailand on Saturday (July 11), but a test result the next day confirmed one soldier had Covid-19.

According to the CCSA's announcement effective July 1, pilots and crew of vehicles who enter Thailand on a mission and with clear schedules of departure must be screened on arrival then quarantined at a registered venue. They are also required to use an app that can track their whereabouts and symptoms.

Before last week's incident, there had been no report of Covid-19 infection in the eastern province for 100 days.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Virus results for high-risk contacts of Egyptian soldier revealed
Nine people in Rayong have tested negative for Covid-19 after coming into close contact with an infected Egyptian soldier who visited the province last week.

Two hotel managers, one employee, four housemaids, and two drivers were tested and cleared of infection, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported on Wednesday (July 15).

Rayong authorities have urged anyone who visited the Laem Thong shopping mall on the same day as the infected Egyptian – July 10 – to visit the city's Covid-19 testing facility for a free test today or tomorrow from 10am-3pm.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


All disease control personnel at U-tapao airport transferred
The entire disease control unit at U-tapao airport, including its chief, have been transferred for their alleged failure to check properly the hotel in Rayong province where the Egyptian military mission was staying last week, allowing them to venture out shopping unhindered.

Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said today that investigators have checked the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel and found it was not equipped with access control or tracing systems.

To assist the probe, into the breach of safety regulations by the Egyptian military personnel, he said it was necessary to move the entire disease control unit out, replacing them with health personnel from Chon Buri province.

Dr. Suwanchai said security measures at all hotels in Rayong, which are used as quarantine facilities, will be strengthened, to make sure that those who are exiting quarantine are properly checked and controlled.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


1,603 in Rayong and Bangkok's Sukhumvit area test negative for COVID-19
A total of 1,603 people have been cleared of COVID-19 infection, on the first day of mass swab testing, and health officials are waiting for the results of tests on a further 1,252, said Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of Disease Control Department, on Thursday.

The swab tests were conducted on those who visited the Passione Mall, in the downtown Muang district of Thailand's eastern province of Rayong on July 10th, at the same time as members of an infected Egyptian military mission. People living at a Sukhumvit condominium, where the family of an African diplomat stayed, a member of which had COVID-19, were also tested.

Anyone who visited the D Varee Diva Central Rayong Hotel between July 8th and 11th have also been told to come forward for testing.

Although the results returned so far are all negative, Dr. Suwanchai urged those tested to stay home for 14 days, to keep wearing face masks, observe social distancing and to wash their hands regularly.

Meanwhile, more people in Rayong province were queuing this morning to receive free tests, being offered for the third consecutive day in front of Passione Mall.

It was reported that that first person showed up at about 4.30am, even though testing does not start until 10am. Only 300 people are tested each day and today's quota has already been filled.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


CCSA offers ways to help Rayong after Covid-19 scare halts tourism
Since Rayong's tourism sector has come to a near standstill after a visiting Egyptian soldier tested positive for Covid-19, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) met on Friday (July 17) to come up with measures to help revive the province's economy.

The plans include:

1. Government agencies holding seminars and meetings in Rayong to help stimulate the hotel industry;

2. Tourism promotion for government agents and private companies;

3. Sports competitions, with control measures in place;

4. Concerts and performances under the new normal;

5. Getting foreign and local film crew to film in the province.

These measures will be discussed further before being announced by Monday.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Rayong senior officer promises Bt100,000 to anyone who contracts Covid-19 after visiting Rayong
The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation (CCSA) will propose to the Cabinet to hold mobile meetings in Rayong province to promote tourism and strengthen the public's confidence in the province's safety, Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutecha said on Friday (July 17).

The province was gripped with fear of a new wave of infections after an Egyptian soldier, who stayed in a hotel there, was found to be positive after he had left the country.

"The Ministry of Public Health has performed intensive testing in the province and has not found any local getting infected so far, including the 12 persons who had close contact with the infected foreigner," he said. "All persons who carry the risk of infection will remain in quarantine for 14 days after which they will be tested again," he said.

"People who wish to visit Rayong, as well as Rayong people who want to travel to other provinces, will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, unless there is evidence that the person had made contact with an infected person or was determined by the Department of Disease Control as carrying a high risk," added Satit.

Meanwhile, Piya Pitutecha, chief executive of Rayong Provincial Administrative Organisation, said that Rayong must regain the tourists' confidence as quickly as possible while urging local people not to panic.

"I am confident that Rayong people are free from Covid-19," he said. "If anyone visits Rayong and contracts Covid-19, I will personally pay them Bt100,000 after they show concrete evidence, verified by the Ministry of Public Health, that they actually contracted the virus from Rayong locals."

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Suspicious truck found 'packed' with illegal migrants in Sa Kaew

A police scout noticed something suspicious about a pick-up truck near the Thai-Cambodia border in Sa Kaew province on Monday (July 20), and passed the message on to police at the checkpoint.

Police stopped the truck, which was being driven by a Thai woman, and found 15 illegal migrants. She was apparently bringing them across the border from Cambodia to jobs in Chonburi, Pathum Thani and Saraburi.

The migrants, who said they had paid Bt3,000 each to a Cambodian agent for the transfer, are being detained at Klong Hat Police Station for legal proceedings.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Police nab 45 illegal Cambodian migrants in Sa Kaew

Commander of the Burapha Task Force, Maj-General Tharaphong Malakham, said on Tuesday (July 21) that 45 Cambodian nationals had been arrested for illegally crossing borders in Sa Kaew province.

"The arrests are the result of a joint operation between Burapha Task Force and Sa Kaew police to prevent illegal migrants from entering Thailand or smuggling contraband into the country via the Thai-Cambodian borders in the province," he said. "Officers patrolling along the Non Ping canal in Ta Phraya district last night arrested three groups of migrants, comprising 15, eight and seven persons, 22 of whom were men and eight women.

The illegal migrants said they had travelled from the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey to look for work in Chonburi, Pathum Thani and Saraburi. All 45 illegal migrants along with the truck driver have been sent to Ta Phraya and Aranyaprathet police stations for legal process.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Migrant workers pose biggest danger: Public Health Ministry
The Public Health Ministry has warned that bringing migrant workers into the Kingdom may lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Tanarak Plipat, deputy director general of the Disease Control Department, warned that though the situation in Thailand was a lot better than other countries, the risk is not entirely over.

"Several countries are facing a second-wave of infections, and we may face the same. The government is working on curbing the spread of the virus by setting up relevant agencies in every province," he said.

He also listed three factors that could cause another outbreak – remaining local patients, returnees from other countries who pose a low risk, and illegal migrants, who pose a very high risk.

Tanarak said businesses wanting to bring in migrant workers need to first quarantine them for 14 days, adding that he believes everyone will agree to this measure because nobody wants to be blamed for causing another outbreak.

"We have strict measures in place, and they should be followed as we don't want businesses to be closed again. The goal at the moment is to control the disease until there are no more infections," he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Concertgoers, foreign troops tested after Covid-19 scares
More than 600 fans who attended a luk thung concert last month have been summoned for Covid-19 tests after photos of the event revealed a packed-out venue and few people wearing masks. Separately, more than 100 American soldiers visiting Thailand for a military exercise have been tested following a Covid-19 outbreak at their base in Okinawa.

About 2,400 people who attended a concert by Ratchanok "Janey" Suwannaket in Nakhon Si Thammarat on July 25 will be tested today after 613 fans from the same concert tested negative yesterday, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokeswoman, today.

Organisers of the temple-fair concert were charged by police for packing out the venue but failing to impose social distancing or other disease controls.

Meanwhile, a close watch is being kept on foreign troops from Guam and Japan who are in Thailand for the Hanuman Guardian military exercise with Thai special forces.

The soldiers were tested for Covid-19 after an outbreak at their base in Okinawa, Japan, caused alarm among Thai netizens. Tests on all 71 visiting US soldiers came back negative while others are still waiting for their results. All are staying in a Bangkok alternative state quarantine hotel.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Police nab dozens for illegal entry
Eighteen Chinese nationals were arrested for illegal entry after they were found taking refuge at a restaurant in Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai yesterday.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said his district office were tipped off about the illegal migrants having slipped into Thailand from Laos.

The arrested have been charged with illegal entry and defying the emergency decree on public health.

In Tak, meanwhile, police have arrested a man identified only as Chenathip, 25, and 30 Myanmar nationals near the Moei River, a natural border with Myanmar.

Police say he told them he drove his pickup truck to collect the Myanmar people from a pre-agreed point after being hired by a Thai man named Oun to take them to a central location in the province.

In Pattani, two Pakistani brothers, named only as Sami and Ikram, have been arrested on charges of illegally using Thai identification cards, illegal entry and working without permits.

Police said they received a tip-off that Mr Sami was selling a variety of products and had been accused of persuading people to buy electrical appliances from him on credit.

He would also show fake citizenship ID cards to prospective buyers to deceive them that he was a Thai national.

Mr Ikram, his elder brother, was also nabbed for assisting his brother in the illegal acts.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong said the bureau had also run a check on a Malaysian man, who recently returned home from Thailand and had since been found to have contracted Covid-19.

He said records confirmed the man had entered Thailand on March 6, returned to Malaysia on Aug 5 and tested positive for the virus on Aug 15.

Officials are trying to pinpoint where the man visited before returning to Malaysia.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Lao man's death prompts investigation

Medical staff in PPE suits from Hong Han Hospital in Udon Thani province place the body of the Lao man who died on Tuesday from an unknown cause in a coffin. A laboratory test will determine whether he died of Covid-19. (Photo: Yuttapong Kumnodnae)

A Lao man died of an unknown cause on Tuesday while visiting his daughter in Nong Han district, prompting investigations into whether he had Covid-19 and had entered the country illegally.

Khampoun Phimphadee, 61, and his wife, who was not named, arrived at Ban Nong Lat in tambon Nong Mek of Nong Han district about two weeks ago to visit their daughter Dido, 30, who had lived there with her Thai husband and their two children for about 10 years.

Mrs Dido said her father and mother travelled from Vientiane and crossed the Mekong river via a natural border crossing. They landed at Phon Phisai district in Nong Khai province and hired a vehicle to take them to Ban Nong Lat.

At Ban Nong Lat, the two stayed in a house owned by her husband's relatives in the middle of a rice field, Mrs Dido said.

A few days ago she noticed her father appeared unwell and had a cough. About 9am on Tuesday she and her mother returned from making merit at a temple and were told by neighbours that Khampoun had died.

She went to the house where her father stayed and found him dead on a bamboo bed in front of the house. The man had vomited blood, which was seen splattered on the ground.

She called the police.

The police cordoned off the area. Health officials from Nong Han Hospital soon arrived in PPE suits to examine the dead man and collected samples for further examination.

Pol Col Sarayut Champhiew, the Nong Han police chief, said he had invited Mrs Dido, her mother and the owner of the house in for questioning to establish through which border crossing the couple had entered the country and whether the entry was legal.

The samples collected from the scene were being examined in a hospital lab to find out whether the man  died from Covid-19, he said.

Udon Thani governor Nirat Pongsithithavorn said he had been briefed on the matter and would make the test results public when they were available.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Quote from: thaiga on August 19, 2020, 01:04:59 PM
Lao man's death prompts investigation

A Lao man died of an unknown cause on Tuesday while visiting his daughter in Nong Han district, prompting investigations into whether he had Covid-19 and had entered the country illegally.


Lao man found to have died from TB, not Covid-19

Covid-19 tests on the corpse of an elderly Laotian man, whose death caused panic in Udon Thani's Nong Han district, have come out negative.

Kompum Pimpadi, 61, had been sitting on a wooden bench in front of his house when he began vomiting blood, and died soon after on Tuesday (August 18). His sudden death terrified the locals, who believed he may have succumbed to a Covid-19 infection.

Officials from Nong Han Hospital, all wearing PPE gear, showed up to examine the corpse and collect samples for lab tests.

The samples tested negative for Covid-19, but found that the cause of death was tuberculosis.

The man and his wife had entered Thailand through the natural border to visit their daughter in Udon Thani.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Covid-19 screening gets stricter in Songkhla
Songkhla governor Jaruwat Kliangklao has doubled Covid-19 screening on international logistics personnel and illegal immigrants who sneak into Thailand as the possibility of a second wave of infections is becoming more plausible.

He said the situation in Malaysia is concerning, which is why logistics personnel will now be screened and quarantined as soon as they cross the border and must leave Thailand within seven hours.

"There is a second wave of Covid-19 infections in several parts of Malaysia and towns near the Thai-Malaysia border, which is forcing us to be stricter," he said.

Soldiers and other related officials have been assigned the job of patrolling the borders to prevent illegal migrants from entering Thailand via natural routes.

"The two areas of concern are Na Thawi and Sadao districts because migrants usually choose natural paths in these two districts," the governor said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Concern over Myanmar spike
Health authorities are asking businesses to delay bringing in workers from Myanmar, amid reports of a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections there.

Sophon Iamsirithavorn, chief of the Communicable Disease Division under the Ministry of Public Health, said the need to postpone allowing workers' entry came after an unusual spike in Covid-19 cases across the border.

On Wednesday alone, Myanmar reported 70 new confirmed infections, the highest single-day tally since the virus was first detected in the country in March.

Accumulated Covid-19 cases in Myanmar have now risen to 602, Dr Sophon said.

The hotspot is Sittwe, capital of western Rakhine state, where the authorities have now imposed a curfew from 9pm to 4am.

Meanwhile, permanent secretary for the Interior Chatchai Phromlert yesterday officially ordered the governors of the 10 provinces bordering Myanmar -- Tak, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Chumphon and Ranong -- to tighten security along the border and ensure strict health checks on people arriving through official crossings.

The army has stepped up security patrols in Mae Fa Luang, Mae Chan, Mae Sai and Chiang Saen districts to deter illegal border crossings, according to Col Chatri Sanguantham, chief of the Pha Muang special task force of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

Since Thursday, soldiers have arrested four Myanmar nationals, two men and two women, who were aged between 28 and 48, said an official source who is familiar with the matter.

The four were caught while attempting to cross the border from Thailand back to Myanmar having claimed to have travelled from Chiang Mai, said the source.

Col Chakkrit Charoenchotikan, a representative of the task force chief, said since April 18, 332 people, mostly Myanmar nationals, have been detained in 106 crackdowns on attempts to cross the border illegally in either Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai.

In Chiang Rai alone, 151 people including 83 Myanmar nationals, were detained while attempting to cross the border illegally between March 23 and Wednesday, he said.

The others detained were 54 Thai, 12 Lao and two Chinese nationals, he said.

In Kanchanaburi province, thirty-five illegal Myanmar migrants and their two drivers were arrested in Sai Yok district in the early hours of yesterday.

Two pickup trucks travelling on a local road in tambon Sri Mongkhol of Sai Yok district were stopped at around 3.40am at a checkpoint manned by soldiers, police and immigration officers.

Sunt Srianthumrong, a special lecturer on environment management with the National Institute of Development Administration, meanwhile, urged a new lockdown prohibiting all border crossings between Thailand and Myanmar.

He said that as there was a risk this second wave of Covid-19 in Myanmar could spiral out of control, Thailand should send a team of medical experts to help.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Aug 29. 2020
Expert rings alarm bells over Covid-19 spreading in neighbouring countries
The Covid-19 pandemic is spreading closer to Thailand, Dr Yong Poovorawan, an expert virologist at Chulalongkorn University, said on Saturday (August 29).

In a Facebook post, he said that the Covid-19 pandemic had emerged in India and later spread to Bangladesh and Myanmar, while the number of patients in Myanmar had increased sharply.

"So far, Covid-19 has come to Thailand from people travelling by airplane, but soon it will spread from people travelling through the borders," he said.

"For example, Chikungunya previously emerged in foreign countries before spreading to Thailand."

He said from now on, the country must issue stricter Covid-19 preventive measures to contain the spread of disease as much as possible.

"To enable people to live as normal and reduce deaths, everyone must work together; people must not forget to wear face mask, wash their hands regularly and maintain physical distance with others," he added.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Kanchanaburi borders with Myanmar closed due to Covid-19 threat
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered closure of all access routes to Myanmar from Kanchanaburi province to prevent the spread of Covid-19 after a suspected second wave of infections in the neighbouring country.

The routes that will be closed are: the Phu Nam Ron checkpoint, Muang district, Bongdi checkpoint, Thayok district, Ban E Tong natural channel, Thong Pha Phum district, and the Three Pagodas border checkpoint in Sangkhlaburi district.

It has not been confirmed if a Covid-19 case has been found in the Phaya Tongsu area, which is opposite the Three Pagodas checkpoint.

On Sunday, Surasi Army 104th commander, Maj-General Thakat Lordsiri, met with the heads of Muang, Sai Yok and Sangkhlaburi districts, including community leaders, to discuss measures for the prevention of Covid-19 in the vicinity of the Three Pagodas checkpoint.

After a fresh outbreak in the Sittwe area, in Rakhine state, Myanmar has now found patients and suspected cases in the city of Mawlamyine, just 270 kilometres from the Three Pagodas checkpoint.

The security department, military, police, immigration office, and village chiefs have tightened the monitoring of natural channels from the Ban Nam Koek checkpoint to the Three Pagodas area. There are more than 20 natural channels used by villagers in Thailand and Myanmar to cross the border. The military is playing a key role in patrolling to prevent illegal entry at night.

Businesses can import and export products as usual by specifying a delivery point at the border without allowing Myanmar operators to deliver goods in Thailand or Thai people delivering goods in Myanmar.

Thakat urged all agencies to strictly perform their duties and enforce the law if Myanmar people tried to smuggle into the area. Disciplinary and criminal sanctions will be undertaken, he warned, adding, a Covid-19 outbreak in the area would cause enormous damage to the local economy as Kanchanaburi province is a major tourist destination, attracting large numbers of Thai and foreign tourists.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Policeman injured in bid to stop pickup allegedly smuggling in Myanmar labourers
A senior Tak Immigration Police officer and two Myanmar nationals suffered minor injuries when a pickup allegedly trying to smuggle undocumented labourers into the province smashed into a police vehicle at a road block.

An official of the 345th company border patrol police reported that on Saturday (August 29) they had dispatched officials to patrol the border along Moei River in Maeramad subdistrict of Tak province after a tip-off that an illegal labour syndicate would try to smuggle in migrants from Myanmar through the area.

As officials employed roadblocks on Sai Ban Ton Pheung Road, they stopped an Isuzu D-max pickup truck for searching. The driver reportedly accelerated the truck and tried to drive through the road block and smashed into a Toyota Hilux pickup truck belonging to Pol Snr Sgt-Major Wanchai Singhlor of Tak Immigration Police. Wanchai suffered minor injuries.

When officials stopped the pickup and checked, they reportedly found 13 Myanmar nationals --10 males and 3 females -- all without documentation, hiding inside. Two of the migrants reportedly had minor injuries after the crash.

The driver, 30, a local of Tak, who reportedly confessed that he was paid Bt12,000-Bt13,500 per person to bring migrant labour to Ban Sam Meun subdistrict in inner Tak.

Officials also reported that on the same night, five vehicles suspected of carrying illegal migrants had managed to slip through the roadblocks.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Two Hua Hin schools shut down over news of border crossings
Two schools in Prachuap Khiri Khan province have been instructed to cancel classes for a week after it was discovered that many migrant students and their guardians had visited their country by crossing the natural borders.

Provincial governor Pallop Singhaseni said on Tuesday (September 1) that he will close Anun School and Wang Ta Krai School until September 7.

Anun School has 576 students, of which 300 are migrants, while Wang Ta Krai School's 310 students include 45 migrants.

After some Anun School students did not show up in class due to high fever, officials looked into their case and learned that their parents or relatives had recently returned from Thailand-Myanmar border areas. The children will need to spend 14 days quarantine under the supervision of health volunteers before returning to school.

Meanwhile, though Wang Ta Krai School has not reported any suspicious infections, it has decided to close just in case.

Health inspectors from the Public Health Ministry and personnel from Hua Hin Hospital have taken fluid samples from people potentially at risk to test for Covid-19 and results will be released in a day.   nationthailand.com

Kanchanaburi school shuts for three days to prevent Covid-19 infection
A school in Kanchanaburi province announced that it would be closed for three days after reports its students might have been in the vicinity of illegal immigrants, to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infection.

Ban Yui Yae School made the announcement on its official Facebook page on Monday (August 31). Myanmar has reported a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent days.

The immigrants reportedly used natural routes to avoid the officials and managed to access the residential area. The school was informed that its students might have been in the vicinity of the Myanmar people.

The school has also requested students to be discreet about social distancing and avoid going out during the closure from September 1-3.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Tak steps up border security with Myanmar over Covid fears   nationthailand.com
Tak has implemented more serious measures to deal with workers who illegally cross the border between Thailand and Myanmar, the province's public relations office said on its Facebook fan page today (September 2).

Mae Hong Son has already closed its border with Myanmar after the number of Covid-19 patients in the neighbouring country increased by 107 to 882. Mae Hong Son Governor Suwapong Kittipatpiboon said after a public health meeting that five borders in the province have been closed since July 20, but the movement of logistics was still being allowed.

Chinese arrested in Tak for illegal entry   bangkokpost.com
Six Chinese men were arrested in Mae Sot district of this northern border province on Wednesday morning for illegal entry.

The arrests were made on the bank of the Moei river, which marks the border with Myanmar, near Ban Huay Muang in tambon Tha Sai Luat by a team of soldiers from the 4th Infantry Regiment, border patrol police and village defence volunteers.

Travel and identification documents were seized from the six men. They and their papers were handed over to the Mae Sot immigration office for further action.

The 4th Infantry Regiment, Mae Sot police, territorial defence volunteers and village defence units of Mae Sot district have set up joint teams to patrol the border, especially at natural border crossings over the Moei river.

They have also set up security checkpoints to prevent smuggling of drugs, timber and stolen vehicles across the border, and entry by illegal migrants looking for work.

There are concerns illegal migrants may bring with them the corononavirus disease, which is spreading in Myanmar, and spark a new outbreak of Covid-19 cases in Thailand.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


30 Laotian illegal migrants caught on bus heading to Bangkok  nationthailand.com
The Navy's Mekong Riverine Unit in Ubon Ratchathani province caught 30 illegal immigrants from Laos while they were searching a bus running from Ban Pak Saeng district to Bangkok.

Police Colonel Sarot Rodmanee, chief of Khemarat Police Station, said on Friday that the bus was stopped for a check on Khemarat-Khong Jiam Road near the Thailand-Laos border.

"The group of migrants comprised nine males, 17 females and four babies. None of them had proper documentation," he said. "They confessed that they came from Vapi city in Salavan province of Laos and were heading to find jobs in Bangkok. They also said that each adult passenger had paid Bt5,000 to an agency in Laos who arranged the bus and promised to take them to Bangkok after they crossed the Mekong River."

All the suspects were charged with illegally entering the country, while officials are investigating the agency that arranged the bus to uncover the whole operation. "Currently Thai officials have to increase security along the borders to prevent infected migrants from bringing Covid-19 to Thailand," he added.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Myanmar migrants' visit to Khao Kho spurs Covid-19 scare  bangkokpost.com
Social media pictures on Sunday of Myanmar migrants visiting tourist attractions in Khao Kho district sparked fears among local residents that they could spread Covid-19, prompting a senior district official to quell their concerns.

The message "Today, we take 12 truckloads of Myanmar nationals for a tour of Khao Kho" and pictures of the migrants on pick-up trucks were posted on social media by "Thongchai Khao Kho tour service".

On seeing the post, local people expressed fears that authorities were taking inadequate measures to prevent the virus spreading. They said some of the migrants were seen not wearing face masks.

Amnat Poonyod, an assistant to the Khao Kho district chief, said the migrants were employees of Saha Farm Group Ltd in Bung Samphan district of Phetchabun. They were taken on a tour of Khao Kho attractions during the long holiday.

On Sunday morning, they visited the famous Wat Phra That Pha Son Kaew in Khao Kho, a temple that requires tourists to register and wear face masks.

"All Phetchabun people and netizens can be assured that we have not let down our guard at Khao Kho," Mr Amnat said.

Mr Amnat said during the past two days of the long holiday there were not as many tourists visiting Khao Kho as the previous long holiday in August. However, more were expected during the two remaining days,  Sunday and Monday.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Myanmar Covid-19 situation hits Tak's tourism badly during long weekend
Hotels and guest houses in Tak province have seen only 50 per cent reservations by tourists during the four-day long weekend from September 4-7, compared to previous long weekends, due to news of Covid-19 spreading in Myanmar, Thitiporn Kasomsan, president of Tak Tourism Businesses Association, said on Sunday (September 6).

The extended weekend is a result of compensation holidays for Songkran.

"Mae Sot district used to be the centre of Tak tourism but today it's completely quiet due to the news of the escalating Covid-19 situation in Myanmar, which shares the border with Tak in several districts," she said.

"The Myanmar government had announced total lockdown in Rakhine state, which is at the epicentre of the outbreak and is far from Karen state that shares the border with Thailand," added Thitiporn. "I have recently visited Myanmar and saw that their disease control capability is adequately efficient. It would be nearly impossible for an infected person to travel from Rakhine to Mae Sot without being stopped by authorities of both countries."

"I would like to urge the public to digest the news carefully and not believe rumours that the outbreak is out of control in Myanmar," she added.

"The situation in Tak is completely normal while operators of tourism businesses, such as hotels, guest houses, restaurants and souvenir vendors are recovering from the impact of Covid-19 and are awaiting visits from domestic tourists."

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Covid-19 testing station opened at Kanchanaburi immigration office
A Covid-19 testing station for illegal migrants has been set up at Kanchanaburi immigration office, and employers are warned they will be shut down if illegal workers test positive.

Deputy provincial governor Narin Songpinitkul opened the testing unit on Thursday. He was accompanied by medical staff from Phahon Phon Phayuha Sena Hospital, who will operate it.

Dr Somchet Laoluekiart, the hospital director, said a surge of coronavirus disease was reported in Myanmar.

Kanchanaburi shared a border with Myanmar. Job seekers sneaking across the border through natural crossings could brng the disease with them and start a fresh outbreak in Thailand.

A provincial disease control committee had worked closely with Phahon Phon Phayuha Sena Hospital in setting up  a Covid-19 testing room at the provincial immigration office, Dr Somchet said.

Staff from the hospital would take swabs from detained illegal migrants for testing for Covid-19. Results would be known within one day.

Kanchanaburi immigration chief Pol Col Samrarn Klanma, said a total of 194 illegal migrants had been detained recently. He said 81 migrants were held at the provincial immigration office and the others at police stations in Tha Muang, Phanom Thuan, Sai Yok, Sangkhla Buri, Muang and Bo Phloi districts, and at a welfare home for children and the elderly.

The deputy governor said security had been tightened along the border to deter illegal border crossers. Teams of soldiers, police and local officials were stationed at six road checkpoints and more than 40 natural border crossings. Local residents were being asked to inform on illegal migration.

Mr Narin said businesses should not hire illegal migrants. If any illegal workers were found to be infected, their employer's business would be forced to close, he warned.  bangkokpost.com  (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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