Thailand’s chief of defence forces has ordered borders sealed off over the concern that illegal migrants could bring COVID-19 into Thailand. Migrants infected with Covid-19 have detained recently after trying to cross illegally into Thailand.
A spokesman of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, said Gen Pornpipat Benyasri ordered borderline forces to stand guard along the border. They are to block migrant workers from entering illegally to combat COVID-19 in Thailand.
The order was laid-out in his meeting with chiefs of the armed forces. He also instructed the armed forces to be ready to help victims of natural disasters throughout the rainy season.
In addition, he urged military personnel to promote national unity. Also to carefully voice opinions especially via social media to prevent negative impacts on security.
Immigration to also stop migrants entering Thailand at borders
Meanwhile, Thailand Immigration Bureau is also gearing up its efforts to prevent thousands of migrants from from sneaking into Thailand illegally.
Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, said immigration police are concerned about illicit border crossings as borders are still closed to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Some migrants crossing the border illegally may bring covid-19 infections with them which will not be caught by screening authorities.
Gen Sompong was speaking when he met his immigration police at the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge crossing.
He ordered immigration police to work closely with border police and soldiers in arresting illegal border crossers. More importantly, state officials themselves must not get involved with such offences,” he said.
Immigration police will launch a campaign in the North and Northeast to crack down on migrant workers crossing illegally to gain work.
Migrants Illegal crossings borders on the Mekong
While the country’s borders remain closed, many migrant workers have attempted to sneak in via the Mekong River. Some migrants have also had tried to smuggle drugs in too he said.
He said immigration police have seized millions meth pills and a large amount of dried cannabis over the past few months.
The government on Wednesday reported two new cases of covid-19 coronavirus disease infection, both quarantined returnees. Thailand’s total cases rose to 3,197, of whom 3,074 had recovered. Including two patients discharged over the past 24 hours. 65 patients are still in hospital. The death toll remained at 58.
The country has been free of local infection for 45 days.
Travel Bubbles may be put on hold
Thailand also expects to delay plans for so-called travel bubbles given a resurgence in covid-19 infections in countries that had managed to contain the initial outbreak.
Thailand partially lifted a three-month ban on foreign visitors this month. The Kingdom had been planning to further boost tourism by creating travel bubbles. With countries like Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong that had managed to contain the covid-19 virus.
But fresh outbreaks are creating uncertainty, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.
“The travel bubble that was going to begin in the fourth quarter could be delayed,” he added. The government had previously said the travel bubble could begin in September.
“We adjusted our forecast for foreign arrivals this year to 8.2 million from 10-12 million,” Yuthasak said.
Thailand recorded 6.7 million foreign arrivals in the first five months and is allowing business travelers and tourists seeking medical treatment to enter for the rest of the year.