A Thai army spokesperson has told a press briefing that illegal migrants were still sneaking into Thailand from Myanmar, despite patrols and drone surveillance. Especially borders with highly porous locations like, Chiang Rai Tak and Kanchanaburi.
He said the Army will be adding even more resources, including more drones, mobile patrol units and razor-wire fences to secure high-risk areas.
The army had recently arrested 279 Myanmar nationals at vulnerable border crossings in those three provinces.
In addition, 200 Thai Army soldiers were recently sent to Samut Sakhon, the flash-point of the latest Covid-19 infection cluster, to boost the authorities’ screening and checkpoint capacity, he added.
Lt Gen Santipong Thammapiya said that it was impossible to completely seal Thailand’s borders from illegal migrants. “Illegal migrant labourers are still crossing the border using natural channels, even though we have deployed a legion of soldiers to guard the demarcation.
Our border is 5,526 kilometres long and its almost impossible to stop them all Lt Gen Santipong said.
Netizens demanding Health Ministers Resignation
Meanwhile, the Thaiger reports, Thai netizens are demanding the resignation of Thailand’s Health Minister after the largest daily amount of Covid infections is being reported in Samut Sakhon Province.
That number of infections, reported today, is now up to 576, 516 of which includes migrant workers who have been in the news recently after several were found to have entered Thailand illegally from Myanmar, skirting mandatory quarantine requirements.
The number is seen as alarming, after Thailand has had little to no infections in recent months. Furthermore, the kingdom has only reported about 4,000 cases since the pandemic began.
The highest number of cases, in one day, in the past, was 188 on March 22.
Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Public Health minister is now being blamed, despite months of having no new locally-transmitted cases reported. The hashtag #ถอดถอนอนุทิน (Remove Anutin) started trending early this morning and has received over 254,000 mentions so far.
While many pointed to a few anti-foreign faux pas and premature statements he has made in the past, including a statement yesterday in which he blamed the outbreak on migrant workers coming illegally into Thailand, the minister has been targeted by anti-government protesters for months.
Such netizens have blamed Anutin for bringing his Bhumjai Thai Party into the ruling coalition with the military-backed Palang Pracharath Party. Some netizens have even posted of his expected demise by putting his picture next to the words, “the beginning” and “the end”.