Migrant workers from Myanmar flock to the border on the Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge, to cross into Myawaddy, Myanmar, Tuesday, March 24, as they leave Thailand due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A Thai interior ministry official told Reuters about 60,000 migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar had returned home as of Tuesday. Thailand has reported 934 cases of the virus, the second highest number reported in Southeast Asia.
Vast crowds gathered at the Myanmar border, carrying suitcases and luggage on their backs amid sometimes chaotic scenes as crowds scrambled over the gate.
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“The state authorities are arranging to send the workers back to their respective states and regions by car, but some couldn’t wait and tried to pass the line,” said Ye Min from the Aid Alliance committee, a non-profit that helps migrant workers in Thailand.
He said about 30,000 had crossed in recent days through several gates.