Soldiers fly in helicopters over Thai-Malaysia border as illegal crossings risk spread of Covid-19


Soldiers flew in helicopters over the Thai-Malaysia border today (June 8) to deter illegal crossings which risk adding to the spread of Covid-19 cases.

Security along the border was heightened to monitor the influx of migrants and illegal entries, which are believed to have triggered outbreaks of infections in southern Thailand.

Thai border troops flew in helicopters to monitor the 85km-long border covering three districts including Sa Dao district, Na Thawi district and Saba Yoi district in Songkhla province which are adjacent to Malaysia on June 1.

The area was reportedly used by illegal migrants and labour workers to come in and out of the country so the authorities took it under 24-hour surveillance during the lockdown in Malaysia which would last until June 14.

Lieutenant General Kriengsak Srirak said: ‘We have dispatched one unit of Trepsatree Task Force to strengthen our operation and help monitor wider areas.

‘I also ordered troops and informed locals to help keep an eye on all illegal activities including smuggling in order to prevent the further spread of the virus after the Indian and South African variant was spotted in Malaysia.’ 

Thailand has recorded 182,548 Covid-19 cases so far with 1,297 deaths. In Songkhla province, the record stands at 1,649 cases with eight deaths. Of these numbers, 1,026 have recovered and discharged from hospitals while 615 of them were still under care.