Gov’t Clamps Down on Migrants From Neighboring Countries

A file photo of migrant workers from Myanmar in Thailand.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand has slowed down the entry of job-seeking migrants from neighboring countries to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed a senior government official on Wednesday.

Employment Department Director General Suchart Pornchaiwisetkul said Thailand has already informed authorities in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam of restrictions and measures currently enforced in the country to slow down the entry of migrant workers in the face of the pandemic.

The measures at land-based border checkpoints throughout Thailand have been stepped up with Thai nationals returning home from any neighboring country as well as job-seeking migrant workers crossing the border into this country, Suchart said.

They all are strictly obliged to undergo a 14-day quarantine at specified places immediately after they have entered Thai territory, he said.

His comments followed last week’s event in which 42 migrant workers were found to have been infected with the virus after they had illegally slipped across the Thai-Malaysian border into Songkhla province in southern Thailand.

Meanwhile, about 2.8 million migrant workers from the neighboring countries, who are currently employed in Thailand, will have their work permit extended until the end of November, according to Suchart.

Of that total, about 722,000 migrant workers are reportedly employed in Bangkok and some 951,000 others in the capital city’s outlying provinces, including Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn.