Thais return home as Malaysia imposes ‘Lockdown’ amid COVID-19 outbreak


YALA– Thai people working and studying in Malaysia continue to return home on the first day of movement restriction imposed by the Malaysian government to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Since the announcement of the two-week lockdown on Monday, Thai nationals in Malaysia have flocked border crossings.

Thousands of Thais have worked in Malaysia, including those related to about 6,000 Thai food restaurants.  There are also over 1,100 Thai students enrolling in schools and universities in 13 states of Malaysia.

At the border crossing in Betong district of Yala province, on the border with the Malaysian state of Perak, the owner of a Thai restaurant in Malaysia said she needed to heed the order and close the restaurant which affected many employees.  She hoped that after the lock-down period the restaurant could be reopened in April.

Among the travelers are foreigners who have decided to move out of Malaysia as the lock-down order has become effective from March 18 to March 31.

Thai officials and soldiers have conducted health screening and detected anyone with fever and respiratory symptoms at the border crossings. (TNA)