9 January 2021 (Irrawaddy)
Less than a month after Thailand’s leaders blamed Myanmar migrant workers for the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon’s wholesale seafood market, discrimination has become a part of Myanmar migrants’ daily lives in everything from transportation to banking.
Ever since Dec. 17 when a 67-year-old Thai vendor working in Mahachai’s shrimp wholesale market tested positive for COVID-19, the market, where many Myanmar migrants work, has been in lockdown. In news reports over the following days, Thailand’s health minister and then prime minister accused illegal Myanmar migrants of transmitting the virus. Some 300,000 to 400,000 Myanmar migrants work in seafood markets and seafood processing plants–the epicenter of current outbreak–in Thailand.