Merchants in Chiang Rai are urging the The Thai government to reopen border checkpoints to allow cross-border trading between Thailand and Myanmar to resume from next month.
Pakaimas Vierra, vice president of the Chiang Rai Provincial Chamber of Commerce, called on the authorities to promptly consider reopening the border checkpoints in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province as soon as next month.
Cross-border trading between Mae Sai district and Tachileik township in Shan state of Myanmar has virtually grounded to a halt since the border checkpoints were temporarily closed in March. Under Thailand’s Covid-19 anti-pandemic and lockdown measures, according to the vice president of the Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce.
The economy of Chiang Rai province has been largely affected by the temporary closure of the Mae Sai border checkpoints through which some 800 million baht (about 25.29 million U.S. dollars) in combined value of goods has been traded monthly, the official said.
U.S. donates Covid-19 face masks to Chiang Rai
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy has sent thousands of Covid-19 face masks to Chiang Rai Province. Despite the country not having any local covid-19 cases for two months.
The representative of the US embassy delivered the Covid-19 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) worth $14,500 to authorities in Chiang Rai, on Monday (July 20).
Regional consul general Sean O’Neil said the US government wanted to help provide the protection to the hill tribe people that live in the remote mountains.
He said: “We are honored that the Thai authorities trust us to help provide this equipment.
“We believed that the PPE will be helpful for the poverty-stricken citizens during this pandemic and hope they will help them stay safe from the virus.” Thailand – which began strict containment and lockdown measures at the start of the pandemic – has not recorded any local transmissions of the coronavirus for two months.
The baffling record – which some credit with the genetics of people in countries along the Mekong Delta including Vietnam and Laos – has impressed officials at the World Heath Organisation who have chosen the country to feature in a documentary on the pandemic alongside New Zealand.
In contrast, the U.S. has recorded 4.1million infections as of July 23, suffered 146,192 deaths and seen protests against lockdown restrictions and the use of masks.