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Border Patrol Camps May Be Converted to Quarantine Centers

With the aim of accommodating migrant workers who have been given permits to work in Thailand under the labour programme that aims to deal with inadequate labour, the government may turn border patrol police camps into COVID-19 quarantine centres.

On Thursday, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin stated that the ministry is hoping that the Border Patrol Police will cooperate with them with regards to this plan, which he believes will mitigate the expenses of quarantining migrant workers without compromising on the standards.

Mr Suchart spoke about this plan on Thursday, when he went to visit an immigration checkpoint in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo, wherein he scrutinized the screening measures that have been undertaken for migrant workers at the border post.

He also stated that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was concerned about the impact of migrant workers entering the country, considering the fact that the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the neighbouring countries.

The minister explained that the ministry plans on talking to the employers in the border provinces, who require migrant workers in these trying times.

The COVID-19 quarantine programme that is being piloted in Chanthaburi for migrant workers may be extended to other border provinces, he said.

Under this project, migrants are being provided with COVID-19 quarantine facilities by longan fruit plantation owners who are hiring them.

In order to prevent illegal entry by migrants, labour offices in the border provinces were directed by the ministry to cooperate with the security authorities in mitigating such inflow.

Capt Nat Charatsakun, head of Ranong’s port security centre, had expressed concerns regarding the risk of the transmission of the coronavirus via ports in the province, which witness about 100 cargo vessels on a daily basis. He also added that these ships transport hundreds of Myanmar workers each day.

Strict measures are being imposed by the centre in order to prevent contact between Myanmar workers and Thais working at the ports.