Hundreds of Shan migrant workers that were quarantined in Thailand for weeks are finally on their way home. A COVID-19 prevention committee established by the government told SHAN that over 300 workers were processed in Tachileik.
Sai Num Dwe, the chairperson for Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) branch in Tachileik, said: “After 21 days of quarantine in Thailand, all the migrant workers have been allowed to go back home, including the ones from Mae Sai, in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province.” The next time they want to cross the border “we’ll let them go back home directly.”
Many lost their jobs when Thailand declared a state of emergency at the end of March after the country recorded a sharp rise of coronavirus infections. The Thai government announced the lockdown will remain in force until the end of May.
In China, thousands lost their jobs after lockdowns were introduced in late January. Many workers began returning home in April after most of the travel restrictions in the country were lifted.
In Burma, about 175 factories and other businesses have closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 60,000 people have lost their jobs.
The government told residents in Shan State to stay home for the Thingyan water festival in mid-April, promising food assistance to more than 100,000 families.
Some locals said the US$15 (20,000 kyat) food packages the government provided was insufficient and poorly distributed. Many villagers didn’t get anything, where some with regular income living in towns received the food aid, explained Sai Harn, from the Northern Shan State COVID-19 Prevention Volunteer Team.
Translated by Sai Seng Han