Umpheim Mai Karen Refugee Camp Records First Covid-19 Case

It has now been confirmed a refugee from Umphiem Mai camp has tested positive for Covid-19. Sources close to health workers in the camp said the camp’s first Covid-19 patient had previously lived outside the camp and had only recently informally’ returned.

The patient is currently only identified by health workers as a 48-year male with four family members in Umpheim Mai refugee camp. The man returned to the camp on November 4 without informing related camp officials or health workers. He turned up at the camp’s health facility on November 19 with symptoms and the resulting Covid-19 tests proved to be positive.

Health related agencies are working closely on the case and the patient has been transported to Phopra District Hospital for treatment while his family members are quarantined in a designated facility.

Currently, the camp has been locked down and camp residents are asked to stay home.

A camp resident from Umpheim Mai explained to Karen News the situation in the camp.

“We’ve been told to stay home and not to go outside. Only [camp] security and health officials are allowed to be outside their homes. Many people are following the guidelines, have closed their front door and are staying inside.”

Since the start of the pandemic refugees and camp officials and health workers have been concerned about the the spread of the virus into the refugee camps given their cramped conditions and crowded environment. Umphiem Mai Refugee Camp is one of the nine camps on the Thai-Burma border and are home to more than 8,000 residents.

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