Local news

No mRNA shot for seven Thai detainees in southern Laos

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE SEVEN THAI NATIONALS who were recently arrested in a Thai-Laotian border area and are currently detained in southern Laos have not been given an mRNA coronavirus vaccine, officials said today (August 4).

The five female and two male Thais who were arrested on August 1 by Laotian authorities while looking to pick mushrooms in the woods along the shared border are currently detained at a temporary quarantine site in Phonthong district of Champasak province across from Sirindhorn district of Ubon Ratchathani province, the officials said.

The Thais, arrested by the Laotian authorities on an illegal entry charge, have not been vaccinated in Champasak province as falsely reported on social media, Vientiane Times newspaper was quoted as saying.

The then-unconfirmed, now-dismissed news reports that these villagers were given an mRNA shot in Laos apparently took many people in Thailand by surprise due to the fact that they have not as yet been given a shot of such quality vaccine. 

Sirindhorn district’s chief officer Apai Wuthisopakorn said the mushroom pickers may have unknowingly encroached upon Laotian territory since they were not local villagers of Kham Khuean Kaew subdistrict of the border district.

They are currently undergoing the 14-day quarantine in Champasak province with the Laotian authorities having been requested by Ubon Ratchathani province to return them to the Thai side of the border shortly afterward.

A daughter of one of the Thai females arrested and detained by the Laotian authorities said her mother had a chronic liver disease but had not taken the medicine with her when she joined the others in picking mushrooms in the woods.


The wooded Thai-Laotian border area where the seven Thais had gone to pick mushrooms and were later arrested by Laotian authorities. Photos: Thai Rath

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