Thousands of Lao people return home from Thailand before COVID-19 border closure

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 24, 2020
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VIENTIANE, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Lao people, mostly workers, have returned home across Thai-Lao borders before the temporary closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane capital, the respective border provinces have been temporarily closed their borders starting on Monday.

Vehicles transporting goods with customs permits are still permitted to cross at the international border checkpoints, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.

Sunday and Monday saw large numbers of Lao people returning from Thailand with the highest estimates in the thousands.

Most of them are workers in Thailand who are rushing back home because their employers have temporarily stopped work.

Lao Minister of Labor and Social Welfares, Khampheng Saysomepheng visited the First Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge International Checkpoint to inspect the work of facilitating the safe return of local laborers.

He also visited the temporary reception area for workers close to the Laos-Thai border, before they are sent to their hometowns after ID and health checks.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 5,000 people per day passed through the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge international checkpoint, according to the report. Enditem

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