ASEAN’s Migrant Worker Clusters

On 18 December 2020, Thailand had recorded over 4,000 cases with 60 deaths related to COVID-19. Today, the kingdom has reported 12,423 cases and 70 deaths to date – a nearly 300 percent increase in just 30 days.

Nevertheless, the number of infected migrant workers could in fact be more than reported. Pakpoom Sawangkhum, president of the Proud Association which helps vulnerable communities in Samut Sakhon, said that some migrants are reluctant to get tested because of their illegal status. Moreover, those who have tested positive could also perhaps be refusing treatment in an effort to remain employed.

The new coronavirus wave which has spread to other provinces has prompted the enaction of a partial lockdown in Bangkok earlier this month – which will affect businesses such as bars, massage parlours, and gyms, among others.

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