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Migrant workers stranded on Thai side of border as closure continues

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Migrant workers in Ta Phraya district of Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province on Wednesday. FACEBOOK

Migrant workers stranded on Thai side of border as closure continues

At least 54 of 245 Cambodian migrant workers who returned to Cambodia from Thailand through the Boeung Trakoun border crossing between July 29 and August 4 tested positive for Covid-19, including the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Boeung Trakoun border police chief Van Daran told The Post on August 5 that those who were found positive were sent to the treatment centre at Sisophon High School in Banteay Meanchey province.

He said that following the government’s decision to lock down the eight provinces bordering Thailand, the border crossings between Cambodia and Thailand were also closed due to fear of the Delta variant spreading further. Over the past week during the border closure period, 245 migrant workers attempted to return to Cambodia and got stuck at the border due to the restrictions.

“With the intervention of the consulate general of Cambodia in Sa Keo province of Thailand and the provincial authorities on the border between the two countries, those 54 Cambodian migrant workers were sent to the Covid-19 treatment centre at Sisophon High School after they tested positive,” he said.

He added that many Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis, so they continue to return home via unofficial crossing points every day on the Boeung Trakoun border.

Some workers were also dropped off by a truck in a minefield close to the border and Sa Kaeo provincial authorities had to take them to a safer place in Thailand near the Boeung Trakoun border crossing, he said.

He said Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities supplied the workers with food and items of daily necessity such as tarpaulins, mats, blankets, mosquito nets, soap, alcohol disinfectant and medicines for general illnesses.

“The Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities and the Covid-19 prevention commission of Thma Puok district are offering meals three times a day to migrant workers left stranded in Thai territory near the Boeung Trakoun border crossing. The administration has coordinated with the Thai authorities to check on their health daily,” Van Daran said.

“Those who are suspected of infection with Covid-19 are tested immediately and we will send all of these workers to quarantine centres after the closure of the border between Cambodia and Thailand comes to an end,” he added.

The staff of the consulate general of Cambodia also visited and provided donations to migrant workers stranded on the border in Ta Phraya district of Sa Kaeo province close to Thma Puok district on August 3.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong said that the embassy and consulate general officials were providing them with fish sauce, soy sauce, canned fish, noodles, drinking water, milk, clothes, soap, medicine, medicated oil, masks, sanitizers and tents.

Officials in Cambodia and Thailand are cooperating in their efforts to transport the workers and provide them with safe accommodations on Thai soil in the area between Ta Phraya and the Boeung Trakoun checkpoint until the border closure is lifted.

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