Myanmar Suspends Sending Workers Overseas as Virus Rages

A file photo of Burmese migrant workers at Thai-Myanmar border on April 8, 2019.

YANGON (Xinhua) — Myanmar has suspended sending its migrant workers abroad amid COVID-19 fears at present, state-run media reported Friday.

The Labour Department under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population recently sent overseas employment agencies a directive for suspension of sending the migrant workers to foreign countries from Wednesday.

It was learnt that the issuance of employment contracts and overseas employment identity cards are also being suspended.

Thailand, Malaysia and Japan topped the list of destinations where Myanmar migrant workers were sent by the ministry.

According to the ministry’s figures, a total of 27,330 migrant workers were sent abroad by the ministry in February alone.

Of the total, 22,362 workers were sent to neighbouring Thailand, while 4,145 workers to Malaysia and 698 to Japan, respectively.

Workers were also sent to South Korea, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore and Qatar during the period.

As part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry also announced temporary suspension of entry of foreign nationals through border checkpoints starting from Thursday.

No confirmed COVID-19 case has been reported so far in Myanmar.