Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has ordered relevant officials to take full legal action against the illegal returnees who carried the novel coronavirus and dodged immigration and quarantine procedures, saying they caused damage to the nation.
Mr Anutin’s order responded to a group of Thai women who sneaked back from Myanmar’s border town of Tachileik into Chiang Rai province and later tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019.
“That should not have happened. The selfishness of a few people troubles many other Thai people. Although immigration is being restricted, the group of people sneaked through the border at will. They violated laws,” Mr Anutin said.
“I ordered provincial health officials through disease control committees chaired by provincial governors to file complaints to take all possible legal action against the group of people. We are about to reopen the country but now measures must be reviewed.”
According to him, the illegal returnees violated laws on immigration and communicable diseases and 14-day compulsory quarantine. The hoteliers who accommodated them can also be prosecuted for failing to inform officials of their visits.
Health officials were trying to conduct COVID-19 tests on as many people as possible in Chiang Rai and adjacent Chiang Mai province to contain the disease, Mr Anutin said. (TNA)