Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Thailand nervous over neighbours’ rising Covid-19 numbers

Myanmar and Malaysia daily infection numbers are especially worrying, say Thai health authorities.

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Thailand is keeping a close watch on Myanmar towns near the Thai border after authorities in the capital city Naypyidaw reported 592 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the Bangkok Post is reporting.

The deteriorating situation has prompted the Myanmar government to lock down the largest city, Yangon, shutting schools and factories and ordering office workers to work from home.

The Thai Department of Disease Control (DDC) said the coronavirus disease situation in Myanmar is a great concern, so business operators should stop hiring workers from there to help prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand.

DDC director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said the increasing number of patients infected with Covid-19 in Myanmar appears to be following a similar trend in India where new cases have reached 100,000 every day.

India and Myanmar share a common border which is not secure, so Thai public health and security officers are monitoring the situation closely.

Suwannachai said, “Various agencies have been working together to prevent people from sneaking into Thailand illegally. Public health officers are scanning border areas.”

He warned that tough legal action will be taken against those found to be involved in people-smuggling gangs.

He also said Covid-19 infection numbers in Thailand’s other neighbours are being monitored.

There is special concern over Malaysia where, he said, the number of new patients is climbing rapidly.

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