Mae Sot Muslim Community in COVID-19 Lockdown

Muslim Community Mae Sot

On Monday, the governor of Tak province imposed a 5-day lockdown on a Muslim community in the city of Mae Sot after several people tested positive for COVID-19.

The lockdown began on Monday and will last until Friday, said Pongrat Piromrat.

Health officials detained 30 at-risk villagers on Sunday after a mosque attendant tested positive for the virus, prompting immediate testing in the community.

This latest lockdown is the third in Mae Sot municipality, where proactive testing has consistently detected new infections, mostly among migrants.

Provincial authorities had already designated Mae Sot a controlled area on 26th February due to its location on the Thai-Myanmar border and frequent surge in infections.

Entrances and exits to the community have been sealed and only people with essential affairs to take care of have been allowed in and out.

Most of the roads used by the community are now closed but exceptions have been made for those leading to major spots, such as Islam Suksa school, Sangthong department store, a health centre, Dom Thong mosque, plus the Phan Thong and Muhajireen communities.

The governor said those routes are manned with checkpoints, with warnings that anyone found to have breached COVID-19 preventive measures could be jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to 40,000 baht.

Law enforcement officers, police and village health volunteers have been stationed at five checkpoints between the Muslim community and Bua Koon community in Mae Sot.

They duly detected one infected Myanmar man who had visited the infected mosque keeper, prompting more health checks to 30 at-risk Thais and Myanmar people.

On Sunday, two more COVID-19 cases were taken to Mae Sot hospital, raising the number of infected patients there to 35.

As of Sunday, Tak had an accumulated 303 cases, with 37 still hospitalised and two deaths.

Thailand yesterday added 71 new COVID-19 cases – 48 local infections and 23 imported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 26,441. No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 85.