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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Thailand urged to reopen northern border checkpoints to allow cross-border trading

The Thai government was urged on Saturday to reopen northern border checkpoints to allow cross-border trading between Thailand and Myanmar to resume from next month.

Pakaimas Vierra, vice president of the Chiang Rai Provincial Chamber of Commerce, called on the authorities to promptly consider reopening the border checkpoints in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province as soon as next month.

Cross-border trading between Mae Sai district and Tachileik township in Shan state of Myanmar has virtually grounded to a halt since the border checkpoints were temporarily closed in March under Thailand’s anti-pandemic and lockdown measures, according to the vice president of the provincial chamber of commerce.

The economy of the northern province has been largely affected by the temporary closure of the Mae Sai border checkpoints through which some 800 million baht (US$25.29 million) in combined value of goods has been traded monthly, the official said. E

Meanwhile, an eastern province of Thailand is returning to normal after 14 days with no reports of Covid-19 infection, following fears of a possible spread from the visit of an infected Egyptian air force crewmember, a government official confirmed on Friday.

Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin confirmed that about 7,000 people in Rayong, including a dozen earlier considered at high risk of infection, have tested negative.

Friday was the 14th day without reports of infection in the eastern province, which locates U-tapao airport, where the Egyptian air force plan had landed on July 8 with the infected airman and 30 others aboard.

The infected Egyptian stayed at a hotel and visited a department store in the eastern province before he departed from Thailand on July 11.

The tourist industry and trade throughout the eastern coastal province earlier came to a standstill amid fears of a possible spread from the infected Egyptian.

Hotel bookings were cancelled and holidaymakers changed destinations at the height of the panic over the possible spread.

Thailand has reported no infection within the country for 60 consecutive days on Friday, though Thai nationals, who had returned from overseas, may have been reported to have been infected during a 14-day state quarantine upon arrival, according to the CCSA spokesman. – Xinhua

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