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Migrant workers returning as Omicron fears grow

Khmer Times, Cambodia, 20 December 2021 - Figures of migrant workers returning from Thailand to Cambodia have noticeably increased recently. Although Thailand has opened its borders to welcome legal migrant workers back to work, the fear of the Omicron variant is stopping some workers from travelling. Some fear the consequences of the new variant, and are concerned that it may become as dangerous as Delta was.

In August, thousands of migrant workers returned from Thailand, but these numbers have dropped dramatically in the following months, with some border crossings seeing as few as 50 returnees a day. However, by late November and early December, the figures rose noticeably to around 500 per day.

Oddar Meanchey deputy governor Dy Rado said that migrant workers are still very concerned about the Covid-19 virus and its variants.

“The migrant workers have worked hard to find jobs in Thailand and often spend large amounts to pay job brokers or to cross the border illegally. Despite this, in the last few weeks we have seen more than 100 migrant workers returning per day,” he said.

“Most of them are fully vaccinated by the Thai government while Cambodia is also inoculating workers at the quarantine centre,” he added.



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