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2 years ago

Thai Navy patrols border with Myanmar following Covid-19 spike

Thai soldiers are carrying out round-the-clock patrols along borders with neighbouring Myanmar following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Navy officers were this morning monitoring the Andaman Sea and the Kra Buri river in Ranong province - a gateway for smugglers and human traffickers in the region.

Thailand's borders were closed on March 22 but hundreds of people from poverty-stricken Myanmar, also known as Burma, have been arrested while trying to enter the country illegally in search of work.

Myanmar had only a handful of coronavirus cases until the end of August when it suffered a surge and has now recorded 1,807.

Thai government chiefs are desperate to keep the virus out of the country and have increased security along its western border with the former British settlement.

Colonel Prisawat Wongphensri, Head of the Thai-Myanmar Border Fisheries, said that the number of coronavirus cases in neighbour country Myanmar has continued to increase, so they don’t want to risk transmission through undocumented entrance.

He said: ''It is difficult to guard the border, especially at night, but the military has a radar device to detect incoming and outgoing ships.''

The military officer also asked the cooperation of locals and fishermen in the area to report any suspicious activities in the river.

He added: “I hope our brothers and sisters living in the area will understand the situation. If they see smugglers or any suspicious boat trying to enter the area, they should notify us.”

A patrol boat has been dispatched to the area and is on alert 24 hours a day.

Thailand ranked highest in a global survey for its effective handling of Covid-19 and recovery from the crisis and has had just one 'mystery' local transmission of Covid-19 in the previous 100 days.

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