Migrants in the crossfire of Thai Covid blame game - Asia Times
Market vendors refuse to let them buy food. Some banks won’t allow them to enter their premises. Hotels and guest houses double-check that non-Thai speaking Asians who seek to check-in are not from neighboring Myanmar.It all began on December 17 when a 67-year-old Thai working in a shrimp market in Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province southwest of Bangkok tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.Tens of thousands of Myanmar migrants have worked for years in the market and nearby seafood-processing plants, often doing thankless jobs that most Thais are unwilling to do.It’s become clear by now that Covid-19 spread quickly through Mahachai’s cramped and congested living quarters, similar to the ghetto-like dwellings and dormitories where the disease has thrived among migrants in Singapore and Malaysia.
As such, Myanmar migrants are now being blamed for what is being widely described as Thailand’s second viral wave, which is now creeping across the kingdom after months of reporting no community spread.
From a stable low of just over 4,000 cases and 60 deaths until mid-December, Thailand had 10,547 cases and 67 deaths as of January 11, according to the Thailand Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, a state body managing the pandemic.