January 25, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Cambodian migrant workers continue to return home through border provinces, with those who are unvaccinated being placed immediately in quarantine, and with all being subject to temperature checks.
In the first three weeks of this month, at least 3,160 workers returned from Thailand through Battambang province, with 455 of them being placed in quarantine. Five have tested positive for Covid-19.
Deputy provincial governor Soeum Bunrith told The Post on January 24 that from January 1-21, a total of 3,160 workers had returned from Thailand through the O’Anlok border checkpoint in Kamrieng district’s Ta Sen commune and through other corridors. The five who tested positive were among that number, he said.
He added that vaccinated returnees were allowed to continue to their respective homes. Those who were unvaccinated faced 14 days of quarantine before being allowed to return home.
“Currently, there are 455 workers in quarantine. This total is made up of 193 people from Battambang province, and 262 returnees from elsewhere in the Kingdom,” he said.
“People in both categories will be allowed to return to their respective homes following negative test results at the end of the quarantine period,” Bunrith added.
In neighbouring Banteay Meanchey, provincial administration spokesman Sek Sokhom said nearly 400 Cambodian workers who had returned from Thailand were currently quarantining in the province. He did not have the total figures of those returning this year to hand, but estimated that one or two hundred were returning daily.
“The majority of the workers coming home are vaccinated. Most of them were jabbed in Cambodia. The vaccination costs 500 baht [$15] in Thailand, while here we provide it for free,” he said on January 24.
He said that there is no free transportation for them, as was provided when the pandemic was at its peak. Workers must plan transportation by themselves after their vaccination status has been checked and their temperatures taken.
“When they enter, we take their temperatures carefully. If they are fine and their vaccination cards are in order, we let them continue their journeys,” he said.
In Oddar Meanchey, provincial administrative spokesman Phal Lim said the province still has between 100 and 200 workers returning from Thailand every day. However, he did not have data on the total number of workers who had returned this year.