Phangnga has become Thailand’s first province to reimpose strict health measures following news of the first local COVID-19 transmission case in more than three months and the outbreak in neighbouring Myanmar.
Among the measures is a required 14-day home quarantine for those arriving in, or returning to, the southern province from areas considered COVID-19 outbreak zones, said governor Chamroen Thipphayaphongthada.
The stay-at-home requirement is being waived if people can show proof of having quarantined at a state or local quarantine facility before arriving in the province.
Mr Thipphayaphongthada said many people had taken health safety measures for granted and in doing so reduced public awareness about the still-present threat of COVID-19 infections.
Apart from the home quarantine, people in Phangnga must wear a face mask at all times in public places, never engage in any activity that may heighten the risk of spreading the virus and strictly follow COVID-19 prevention regulations when attending mass gatherings.
Punishments would be meted out against anyone who violates the health measures, Mr Thipphayaphongthada said.
In Kanchanaburi, army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong inspected border security at the Three Pagodas Pass in Sangkhla Buri district on Friday as part of the government’s policy to maintain security along the Thai-Myanmar border.
The government has told 10 provinces to seal off the borders with Myanmar to prevent illegal crossings. They are Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong and Chumphon.
COVID-19 outbreak scares have been reported in Tak, Kanchanaburi and Ranong, making it necessary to tighten borders to ease fears, Gen Kongsompong said.
In Tak, 8 Myanmar nationals suspected of illegal entry were on Friday detained at a rental house in Ban Huay Muang, Mae Sot district. A woman identified only as Makin, 40, admitted that they had sneaked into Thailand through natural border channels to seek work in Thailand.
She said most businesses in towns on the Myanmar side of the border had been shut due to the new virus outbreak.
About 100 Myanmar nationals have been detained recently after trying to sneak into Thailand.