Thailand closes Myanmar border crossings; Covid-19 cases escalating in Yangon

  • Thailand
  • Sunday, 18 Oct 2020

Image courtesy of The Nation Thailand/Asian News Network.

BANGKOK, Oct 18 (AP): Thailand has closed all border crossings between its northern province of Tak and Myanmar after five people in the Thai border town of Mae Sot tested positive for the coronavirus.

The five, none of whom exhibited symptoms, are the first locally transmitted cases confirmed in Thailand since early September, when a prison inmate tested positive.

All five are members of a family of Myanmar nationals residing in Thailand.

Two were initially confirmed to be affected and added to Saturday’s total of Thai cases, while three were officially added Sunday.

Along with cases found among people quarantined after arriving from abroad, seven additions on Sunday brought Thailand’s total number of cases to 3,686, including 59 deaths.

In response to the new cases, schools in the Mae Sot area were ordered closed for seven days and only take-out service is allowed at restaurants and food stalls. Shops, malls and fresh markets remain open but must take temperature checks and enforce social distancing.

Thai authorities in the past two months have sought to tighten crossings in northern Thailand, which shares a long border with Myanmar, where there has been a surge of coronavirus cases since August.

Meanwhile, Myanmar reported 1,387 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 34,875, according to a release from the Health and Sports Ministry.

The death toll rose to 838, with 39 new deaths reported on Saturday.

The total number of patients discharged from hospitals increased to 16,370 so far.

The pandemic was first detected in Myanmar on March 23 this year.

A total of 497,803 samples have been tested for the disease at the country's laboratories. - AP
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