Thailand suspends Covid-19 tests for migrant workers: NGO
Bangkok, Jul 14 (EFE).- Thailand ordered the suspension of Covid-19 tests on immigrant workers, confined since late June and one of the most worrying sources of infection, an NGO said Wednesday.
The Migrant Working Group association, which represents 30 local NGOs in favor of immigrant rights, accused the Labor Ministry of halting tests, according to a document dated Jul. 5 that cites a “lack of resources and medical personnel” as reasons for the measure.
Thailand faces its worst wave of infections and deaths since the pandemic began and has implemented a series of restrictions and partial confinements to stop the advance of the outbreak, linked in part to the delta variant.
As a result of the detection of dozens of infections among construction workers, authorities ordered to confine all the camps where companies house them temporarily amid poor hygiene measures.
Most of these workers, some with children, come from less developed neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia or Laos, and are essential for many sectors with hard and low-paying jobs to continue to function.
Migrant Working Group denounces “discrimination against migrant workers” and calls on the government to offer protection “to all without distinction.”
The ASEAN Parliamentary Association for Human Rights said “excluding migrant workers from health tests and services is a serious violation of human rights.”
“It is totally counterproductive to efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19. It must be lifted immediately and the government must provide urgent access to Covid-19 tests, medical treatment and vaccinations to all people within their borders, whether Thai or not, documented or not,” former Cambodian Parliamentarian Mu Sochua said.
Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha faces growing discontent over his handling of the pandemic in the wake of the current outbreak and the confused vaccination campaign, which is progressing slow than official forecasts.
Health authorities Wednesday reported 9,317 new infections and 87 deaths, having registered 363,029 cases and 2,934 deaths since the pandemic began.
About 5 percent of the nearly 67 million Thais have received the full dosage of the vaccine, according to official data. EFE