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Asia's poor bear brunt of pandemic's devastation

Case of infected Thai women returning illegally from Myanmar shows the economic plight faced by many people

James Lovelock, Bangkok

James Lovelock, Bangkok

Updated: December 02, 2020 10:23 AM GMT
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Asia's poor bear brunt of pandemic's devastation

Unemployed people sit on the side of a road in Bangkok on Sept. 15. Thailand’s economy has been impacted severely by the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: AFP)

Four Thai women who have tested positive for the coronavirus after crossing illegally back into northern Thailand from neighboring Myanmar late last week have caused quite a scare in the country.

The unidentified women, who reportedly worked at the same karaoke bar in a Burmese town near Thailand, visited several popular public venues on their return. Thai officials are concerned that the women may have been spreading Covid-19 far and wide in a nation that has so far managed to contain the pandemic.

One 29-year-old Thai woman, who likely caught the virus in Myanmar, is especially believed to have become a potential super-spreader because of her frequent movements.

Despite having a fever and diarrhea on her return to Thailand, she visited several public places in the northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. That was before she went to hospital to seek treatment where her test results showed that she had been suffering from Covid-19.

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