Thailand Tracking about 200 people in its northern provinces is racing to prevent a possible coronavirus outbreak, with three Thai nationals entering the country illegally from Myanmar and testing positive days later.
The three women sidelined immigration checks and entered the natural border last Tuesday and Friday, leaving mandatory quarantine for new arrivals, said Prontch Pratsakul, provincial governor of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.
In Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai Provinces, 356 people were reported to have been exposed, among them customers of a hotel and shopping mall, cinema, restaurants and passengers, and passengers in vans and taxis.
Thailand has strict measures and border controls to contain coronoviruses, keeping its cases below 4,000 and causing fatalities at 60, although its tourism-dependent economy is suffering badly.
In recent months most infections have been imported and found in government quarantine, with only a handful of community-transmitted cases reported, each of which launched massive contact-tracing efforts.
More than 150 people have been found and tested negative so far in the northern provinces, senior health officer Sopon Imsirathorn said in a separate news conference.
The first of the three new cases arrived in Chiang Rai on 24 November and traveled to Chiang Mai, where he later showed coronovirus symptoms and went to the hospital.
Two other people working in the same entertainment venue in Myanmar returned on Friday. They stayed at a local hotel and later demanded a Kovid-19 test, which was positive.
Myanmar is currently seeing an average of 1,447 new coronovirus cases each day, with around 88,000 infections and 1,887 deaths.