Dozens of Burmese migrants fleeing the chaos in their home country were arrested while allegedly trying to enter neighbouring Thailand.
Thai soldiers found 49 Burmese locals and three Thais being smuggled across the Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi on May 11.
They had no passports to enter the country and told police that they each paid an agent around 20,000 baht (637USD) to take them on a route through the jungle and avoid the authorities.
The group was detained at the police station after public health officials screened them for Covid-19 risks and confirmed that their body temperatures were normal.
Task Force commander Maj Gen Banyong Thongnuam said: ‘We are patrolling the borders 24 hours a day to prevent immigrants from illegally entering the country since they could lead the spread of new Covid-19 strains.
‘Most of them were heading to Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi and Bangkok where they can find jobs.’
Myanmar workers have been entering Thailand due to the political unrest in their country stemming from the military coup that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
According to the National Public Radio, more than 750 people have been killed so far during the unrest.