Myanmar + 2 more

IOM Myanmar COVID-19 Response Situation Report 3, 1 May 2020

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Situation Report
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2,500 migrant per day to be allowed to return through the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border gate

16,324 migrants registered online in preparation to return through the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border gate

3,125 international migrants returned to Kachin State mainly from the People’s Republic of China

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The border with Thailand was expected to re-open on 1 May to allow a second large influx of migrants (estimated 20,000 to 50,000 returns). The Myanmar Government requested to the Thai Government to only allow 2,500 returnees per day through the Myawaddy border gate; however, due to the extension of the Emergency Decree in Thailand until 31 May, returns are delayed for a few more days to allow for the necessary arrangements to be put in place by Thai authorities.

Government Ministries and Departments, the State Government, UN agencies and other actors supporting the COVID-19 response are closely observing the situation in order to quickly respond to potential large scale returns in the coming days. It is expected that approximately 2,000 returning migrants will be quarantined in Myawaddy, while the remainder will be transported from the border to their home communities for community-based quarantine.
On 25 April, the Office of the Labour Attaché at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, announced it would organise relief flights for Myanmar migrants stranded in Thailand (Myanmar embassies around the world also announced relief flights); and on 26 April, it also announced that migrants wishing to enter Myanmar through the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border gate following the reopening of the border, would have to register online in advance. 16,324 migrants have registered through this form so far, with the largest numbers indicating they would return to Bago and Magway regions, and Mon and Kayin states.

As of 28 April, returns into Kachin State also picked up, with 3,125 international returns, mainly from the People’s Republic of China and through the Lweje border gate, according to data from the Kachin State Government (695 internal migrants also returned from other states and regions of Myanmar).
Returnees are being transported to Myitkyina, and from there, to their communities of origin where they will stay in community-based facility quarantine centres.