Pattaya deputy mayor scapegoats Burmese, calls on locals to report suspected illegals

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Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai said on Friday, when the first 13 of the market cases were reported, Pattaya residents should call authorities if they know of an illegal alien

Pattaya residents are being urged to report suspected illegal migrant workers who are being blamed for a massive coronavirus outbreak at a Samut Sakhon shrimp market.



The Public Health Ministry on Saturday reported 548 Covid-19 cases connected to the now-closed market where large numbers of Burmese fishermen and migrant workers live and work. As of Sunday morning, connected cases had popped up in Bangkok and Ayutthaya.

Migrant laborers are ordered to remain in Samut Sakhon to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai said on Friday, when the first 13 of the market cases were reported, Pattaya’s people should call authorities if they know of an illegal alien, a move sure to set off baseless reports of anyone not Thai.

A thorough inspection of Pattaya-area construction and migrant camps earlier this month found no illegals and no cases of Covid-19.

Disease control officers hose down the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon.

Manote justified his call for reporting of Myanmar, saying illegal workers are a focus point for new coronavirus infections in Thailand even though it was a group of Thai returnees, not Burmese, who illegally entered the country last month, setting off an outbreak that infected dozens.