Security officials in Bangkok are more concerned right now with illegal migrants after the arrest of nineteen unregistered aliens detected in the capital revealed that seven were carrying the Covid 19 infection. Security officials are calling on the public, particularly in outlying districts of the metropolis, to report anything suspicious.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok has confirmed that UK travellers will not be singled out and denied certificates of entry into the kingdom after a family of four were discovered in quarantine infected with the ‘Kent’ strain of the virus.
As senior officials within the powerful Centre for Covid 19 Situation Administration desperately try to restrict the damage caused by the New Year’s holiday season celebrations and a spreading wave of virus infection, a call for a ban on travellers from the UK has been soundly rejected.
This was confirmed on Tuesday by a spokesman for Thailand’s Foreign Ministry and Director-General of Information, Thanee Saengrat.
Ministry of Public Health had requested a ban
The response came after the Ministry of Public Health had requested the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to impose such a ban earlier in the week following the discovery of the new B117 or ‘Kent’ strain among a family of four, two adults and two children from Kent, in the southeast region of the United Kingdom, who arrived in Thailand aboard a flight on December 28th 2020.
The public health ministry had called for certification of entry to be held back for those applying from the United Kingdom.
Family held in strict quarantine, no outside contact
On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry official pointed out that the family, who had tested positive for the more infectious ‘strain’ of the disease, had been held in quarantine and did not come into contact with outsiders.
The Centre for Covid 19 Situation Administration confirmed the decision not to impose restrictions on UK travellers saying that it was not conclusively proven that the strain was exclusive to the UK nor that it posed a more severe health threat to the public.
The concern now is the detection of illegal migrants in red zoned Bangkok and outlying provinces
Meanwhile, officials are increasingly concerned with the threat from illegal migrants who are evading authorities along Thailand’s lengthy and porous borders to enter the country, particularly from Myanmar.
On Wednesday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority renewed its calls to the public to report any suspicions about illegal workers or traders in the Bangkok area. Bangkok and key surrounding provinces are currently red zones of high infection.
Deputy Governor, Police Lieutenant General Sophon Phisutthiwong called on all locals in the metropolitan area, particularly in districts at the perimeter, to make known any suspicious activity online and through telephone hotlines.
He revealed that a recent trawl had seen nineteen illegal migrants arrested and that no less than seven of those had tested positive for the Covid 19 virus infection.
‘Thanks to the tip-off from people, so far the authorities have arrested nineteen illegal migrants and tested them,’ he said. ‘Seven have tested positive for Covid-19, while twelve people remain in quarantine and are closely observed.’
James Morris is a pename for an international writer based in Bangkok who works on various international news media. He is a sub editor with the Thai Examiner news website since it began in 2015. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.