Thai authorities tighten measures against COVID-19 along Myanmar border

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Disease-control measures have been reinforced along the Thai-Myanmar border following a wave of COVID-19 infections in Thailand’s neighboring country. Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has directed all units in border provinces to take more stringent measures, with the Royal Thai Navy patrolling the waterways more regularly. Recently, the communicable disease committee of Mae Hong Son province resolved to close three temporarily permitted areas.

A meeting of the communicable disease committee of Mae Hong Son, chaired by Provincial Governor Suwaphong Kitiphatphibun, agreed to close the three temporarily permitted areas in the northern border province for 15 days, starting September 3. They are located in Ban Huai Phueng of Muang Mae Hong Son district, Huai Ton Nun of Khun Yuam district and Mae Sam Laep in Sop Moei district. However, the temporarily permitted area in Ban Sao Hin of Mae Sariang district will stay open for two days, to facilitate entrepreneurs transporting their goods across the border. It will close on September 3.

The committee also resolved that five camps for war refugees in Mae Hong Son must tighten their public health measures, while students from the neighboring country are not allowed to enter the province until the situation improves.

Gen. Prayut ordered police, military and civil officers to deploy more personnel to prevent migrant workers from wading across rivers to enter Thailand illegally. He assigned the navy to conduct river patrols, and all related units to enforce stringent measures in channels and waterways along the border. Measures must be reinforced along the waterways, and the Royal Thai Navy will have to conduct more river patrols.

The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Dr. Thanarak Plipat, said today the number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar is still increasing. The administrative, security and public health sectors will remain vigilant along the Thai-Myanmar border to prevent illegal immigration.