Tham Hin Refugee Camp Goes into Lockdowns – 59 COVID-19 Cases Test Positive

Tham Hin Refugee camp, one of the nine refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border is in complete lockdown after reports of 59 positive covid-19 cases.

Naw Emly, a camp committee member told Karen News that as the symptoms are not severe, patients are not being transferred to the nearby Thai public hospital, but are being treated within the camp at a separate location set up as Covid-19 treatment centre.

“There hasn’t been any deaths. The first confirmed case was on April 22. One of the camp resident contracted it from her son who was working outside the camp.”

Naw Emily said since the first case was reported the camp put in place restrictions.

“The camp is now complete lockdown and people are told to stay home. If they really need to go out, only one person of the household can go out.”

To contain the spread of the infection in the camp, travel in and out of the camp has been restricted and a stay-at-home order has been ordered by the camp officials.

Naw Dah Dah, a camp resident said the restrictions have made life difficult.

“We rely on food rations provided by TBC [The Border Consortium] but we can’t just live on that. We need to get vegetables or others food supplies, but it’s getting difficult to get them as traveling in and out of the camp is restricted.”

Many refugee families cultivated small gardens outside the camp to supplement their food rations, but due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 cases, they are unable to leave to collect their vegetables or tend their gardens.

According to figures recorded by the Karen Refugee Committee, who oversee the management of the Karen refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, Tham Hin camp located in Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province has a camp population of around 5,000.

Currently, there are over 90,000 refugees living in seven Karen camps such as Mae La, Umphiem Mai, Nu Po, Ma Rama Luang, Mae La Oon, Tham Hin and Ban Don Yang and two Karenni camps that are Site 1 and Site 2. Currently, due to the increasing wave of the pandemic, travel restrictions are also imposed on other refugee camps.

As of May 13, 2021, Thailand had recorded 88,907 covid-19 cases and 486 deaths.

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