A TEAM of soldiers, policemen and village guards patrolling the Thai-Myanmar border in Tak province caught 16 Thai online casino workers who had illegally come across the border and were hiding in the jungle at 5 a.m. this morning (Nov. 5), Thai Rath newspaper reported.
Mr. Sompong Fungthaweewong, Phop Phra district chief, had sent the team to check the area around Chong Khab village to crackdown on nighttime crossing of the Moei river to Thailand.
The group of 16 Thais, who are mostly middle-aged and had some carry-on luggage, told the authorities they all worked for a company that ran an online casino in Myawaddy town, which is just across the border from the Thai Mae Sot town, and decided to flee because of severe Covid-19 outbreak there with 79 people having tested positive for this deadly disease.
The patrol team immediately sent for an emergency medical team to test all 16 of them for coronavirus with results still pending.
They are now being held at a detention centre in this province and face prosecution for illegal border crossing.
The patrol team said a large number of people are trying to flee to Thailand to escape the coronavirus outbreak in Myanmar and officers and guards now have to patrol the border all 24 hours.
Meanwhile the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said at 11 a.m. today that there were six new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours with all of them having come from overseas and five placed under state quarantine.
Two of those newly found to be infected with this deadly disease came from France, and one each from Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary. One Myanmar citizen travelling here was also found to be infected but this person has been sent back home for medical treatment.
Eleven more coronavirus patients have recovered and returned home, taking the total number of those cured to 3,623 while 128 are still hospitalized.
Total confirmed cases now stands at 3,810 while the death toll has not gone up remaining at 59.
The 16 Thais who were caught illegally crossing the border from Myanmar before dawn today. Photos: Thai Rath