Lao Labor Return from Thailand Illegally, Sparking Covid Fears

Lao labor re-enters Laos illegally sparking Covid fears

Authorities have arrested 13 Lao laborers returning from Thailand who re-entered the country illegally via the Mekong river at Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital.

According to a report by Vientiane Times, authorities in Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital, arrested 13 Lao laborers who re-entered Laos illegally from Thailand on Wednesday.

Head of Sangthong Public Security Office, Lieutenant Colonel Sivilay Phoumnaxay, says authorities have worked hard to monitor the border, ensuring people do not try to cross.

With low water levels, the Mekong River in Sangthong District is now much easier to cross, said Lieutenant Colonel Sivilay Phoumnaxay.

Authorities took the illegal returnees directly to a quarantine center.

On 1 January, authorities in Hadsayfong District, Vientiane Capital arrested 11 Lao laborers and 2 boat drivers who crossed the river from Thailand illegally, according to a report featured in Tholakong.

All of them tested negative for Covid-19, and are now in a state quarantine center at km 27.

As Thailand faces its second wave of Covid-19, many Lao laborers are deciding to return home, both legally and illegally, sparking fears of a second wave in Laos.