Myanmar Migrant Workers Face 14-Day Quarantine on Thai Border

By Lawi Weng 8 April 2020

Migrants from Thailand returning to Myanmar will have to stay at quarantine centers at border towns for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to border sources.

U Thant Zin Aung, a state lawmaker in Myawaddy on the Thai border in Karen State, told The Irrawaddy that the town had five quarantine centers and over 1,000 migrants.

“They all came back from Thailand. They have to stay for two weeks,” he said.

The township authorities opened five quarantine centers on April 2 and all returning migrants were in good health, he said.

Tachileik Township in Shan State also opened a quarantine center with 199 migrants on April 6, according to U Chan Myae Saw, a township administrator.

“We let them stay at a religious hall. We provided them with free food and are taking care of their health. We found two people had a fever and sent them to the hospital today,” he said.

The camp opened on March 23 and 92 people stayed in the first group. They all left after completing two weeks’ quarantine.

He said the instructions had come from Naypyitaw to quarantine all returning migrants in Tachileik.

Three Pagodas Pass in Karen State cannot currently accommodate returning migrants because of a lack of food, according to Nai Seik Lyi, a leader of the Mon Unity Party at the border.

On March 30 Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered that all returning migrants had to spend two weeks in quarantine centers before heading to their home towns. The move came after a man who tested positive for coronavirus crossed the border at Myawaddy on March 29.

The ministry invited migrant workers to return after April 15 when more quarantine centers would be completed.

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